Grading the Bruins’ Trade for Tyler Bertuzzi

On Thursday morning (March 2), the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings became unexpected trade partners. Detroit sent forward Tyler Bertuzzi to Boston in exchange for a 2024 first-round pick (top-10 protected) and a 2025 fourth-round pick. The Red Wings are also retaining 50% of Bertuzzi’s $4.75 million cap hit.

Bertuzzi was expected to be moved due to his pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) status, and now he is joining the top team in the NHL because of it. The Bruins’ already-strong forward group has gotten even better, while the Red Wings are continuing to add draft picks. Here are the grades for both teams.

Bruins Add Top-Six Forward

With this move, the Bruins have added another top-six forward to their group as they gear up for the postseason. Although the Bruins were not expected to bring in another high-impact forward, things changed on that front with Taylor Hall’s latest injury. The veteran winger has been placed on long-term injured reserve (LTIR), so he will be out for at least a month. With that, veteran forward Nick Foligno is also currently sidelined. Therefore, it makes sense that the Bruins have decided to get Bertuzzi.

Tyler Bertuzzi Detroit Red Wings
Tyler Bertuzzi, Detroit Red Wings (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

With this development, Bertuzzi will likely replace Hall on the Bruins’ third line with Charlie Coyle and Trent Frederic. However, he also could be an option for the Bruins’ second line with David Krejci and David Pastrnak. In either scenario, the Bruins’ middle six has landed another excellent option. With that, Bertuzzi should see time on the Bruins’ power play due to his strong net-front presence ability.

Related: 2023 NHL Trade Deadline Tracker

While playing at his best, Bertuzzi is a legitimate top-six forward, so this looks like a good move for Boston. Although injury trouble has impacted his production this year (14 points in 29 games), he also has nine points over his last 12 games since returning. With that, he also posted a 30-goal and 62-point season in 68 games just last season. If he can get back to that pace of production on a much better Bruins team, he will be a major addition to the Bruins.

Bruins Trade Grade: A-

Red Wings Get Solid Return for Bertuzzi

It was reported by NHL insider Darren Dreger earlier this week that the Red Wings wanted a first-round pick and more for Bertuzzi. They have gotten just that for the gritty winger, so this is a successful move for the Red Wings.

Related: THW’s 2023 Trade Grades

Bertuzzi’s strong play as of late certainly helped raise his trade value again, and the Red Wings took advantage of that. Although Detroit would have likely loved to keep him around, extension talks went nowhere, so they had to trade him. They could not have lost a player of his caliber for nothing through free agency, so general manager (GM) Steve Yzerman made the right decision with this move.

Although the Red Wings will need to wait a year to use the Bruins’ 2024 first-round pick, it is still worth it. Next year’s draft class is expected to be a solid one, so Detroit could secure themselves a strong prospect with Boston’s pick. With that, they also landed a fourth-rounder for good measure, so it is hard not to like this deal for Detroit as well.

Red Wings Trade Grade: A-

Overall, this is a move that should benefit both teams. The Bruins have landed another top-six forward to their group and have found a replacement for Taylor Hall while he is sidelined. Meanwhile, the Red Wings have landed their second first-round pick in just as many days. We will need to see how this trade ages for both clubs as time passes by.