He may be a bottom six forward, but he has seemingly been one of the more valuable assets acquired over the past few seasons when it comes close to the NHL’s Trade Deadline. This time, veteran forward Brian Boyle is on the move again to the Nashville Predators.
In exchange for the 34-year-old Boyle, the New Jersey Devils acquire a second-round pick in 2019, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston who also reported that there will be no salary retention by the Devils.
Boyle by the Numbers
A big force in the offensive end, Boyle stands at six-foot-six and 245 pounds. An aging forward who has lost a step over the past few seasons, Boyle still plays an important role for whichever team employs him.
So far this season, the 34-year-old has 13 goals and 19 points in 47 regular season games for the Devils.
While offence hasn’t been his strong point over his career, Boyle has made himself a reliable defensive option for teams looking to close out games. He has the ability to shutdown opposing power plays, using his big frame on the penalty kill and is often utilized to win big face-offs for his club.
A first-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2003 (26th overall), Boyle signed a two-year deal with New Jersey on July 1, 2017, worth $5.1 million.
On top of his defensive game, Boyle has tallied 119 goals and 211 points in 740 career games and brings both leadership and playoff experience to a team that is looking to get deep into the postseason again – two years after making it to the Stanley Cup Final.
Brian Boyle: The Player
The acquisition of Boyle adds something to a Predators lineup that they have been lacking for some time – a net-front presence. He can play out front at both even strength and on the power play making it tough for opposing goalies to see the puck.
Aside from that, Boyle has shown a willingness to put everything on the line. A cancer survivor, Boyle has played with a little something extra since returning from treatment last season – making things even more special when he tallied a hat trick on Hockey Fights Cancer night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
New Jersey Devil Brian Boyle was diagnosed with leukemia last year. Tonight, he got his first career hat trick … on Hockey Fights Cancer night.pic.twitter.com/dsGDpX9Sk3
— ESPN (@espn) November 6, 2018
As for what the Devils are getting in return, they get the Predators second-round pick in 2019 which gives them two second-rounders and eight picks overall so far for June’s upcoming draft.
For Boyle, the Predators will be the sixth team he’ll suit up for having spent the majority of his career with the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning. He was last traded on Feb. 27, 2017, when the Lightning moved him to Toronto Maple Leafs.
Boyle is coming off a year that saw him put up 13 goals and 23 points in 69 regular season games while taking home the Masterton Trophy for showing qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the game of hockey.