The Boston Bruins have acquired forward Tommy Wingels from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, the team announced Monday. The fifth-round pick can become a fourth-round pick if the Bruins advance past the first-round of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs or if the Bruins re-sign Wingels to a contract extension in the offseason per the team’s official website.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) February 26, 2018
Wingels is one of four players the Bruins acquired at the trade deadline. In addition to Wingels, the Bruins signed forward Brian Gionta to a one-year contract and made two different trades with the New York Rangers to acquire veteran forward Rick Nash and veteran defender Nick Holden.
While the addition of Nash was a major transaction that immediately saw the forward slot into the Bruins top-six alongside David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk, the addition of Wingels is likely more along the lines of the Gionta and Holden acquisitions. While Wingels is capable of playing on the roster, providing depth for the Bruins will be how he contributes for the team down the stretch and into the playoffs.
Wingels is Battle Tested
Wingels has played in 57 games this season with the Blackhawks, a team who is uncharacteristically near the bottom of the NHL’s standings this season and found themselves as sellers this year as opposed to big-time buyers. In those 57 games, Wingels has scored seven goals and 12 points and has played in a bottom-six role all season.
While his point production may not jump off the page, Wingels impact in the NHL has come in a variety of ways. As a fan-favorite in San Jose and Chicago, Wingels has always looked like a solid NHL player on the ice. Giving every shift a 100% effort, there’s no denying Wingels commitment to success.
In 430 games, Wingels has scored 60 goals and 138 points at the NHL level. He has proven he can provide depth scoring for the Sharks, Senators and Blackhawks and the hope for Boston is that he can step in and make an impact if a player in their lineup gets hurt or struggles down the stretch.
With postseasons often involving grueling schedules and physical play, having depth forwards like Wingels and Gionta who have played in the postseason before will be invaluable for the Bruins who could use some battle-tested players on their roster to supplement some of their rookie production, if the rookies fall-off for one reason or another.
In the end, the addition of Wingels is one that could have little impact on the Bruins if their rookies manage to keep composed and healthy down the stretch. Trading away a fifth-round pick that could be a fourth-round pick for depth is an inexpensive price to pay for insurance. For general manager Don Sweeney, this move was one that shouldn’t be seen as a steal, or as a mistake. Sometimes, a move is just a move.
Blackhawks Collecting Assets
This move may be an under-the-radar move for the Blackhawks who have collected some assets from the Ryan Hartman trade as well as the trade that saw Michal Kempny shipped off to the Washington Capitals. This deal was the smallest of the three mentioned, but it still adds another asset for Chicago who are missing their second, third and fourth-round picks this season.
While they recovered a third-round pick from the Capitals this season and first-round and fourth-round picks from the Predators, the Blackhawks were unable to recover a second-round pick at the busy deadline.