Opinion: Jakub Zboril Needs a Change of Scenery

Photo: Michael Dwyer

Undoubtedly, most Bruins fans know of the 2015 blunder in the NHL Draft. Don Sweeney was thrust into the Bruins GM role and had three first round picks to use. Many expected the Bruins to use those picks via trade, but when the time came. Sweeney and company made all three selections: Jake DeBrusk, Zach Senyshyn, and Jakub Zboril.

We have had some closure on the Zach Senyshyn saga as he was moved to Ottawa and then turned to Europe to continue his career. With the Bruins placing Zboril on waivers, has the time come for Zboril to find his way out of Boston?

With the emergence of Mason Lohrei and the signing of Kevin Shattenkirk, the Bruins blue line has plenty of NHL capable bodies. Zboril has been stuck on the fringe of the roster for the last few seasons, never managing to solidify his role. While the NHL travel and paychecks must be nice, Zboril may want to get a chance to play and make an impact on an NHL roster at some point. Ultimately, if he remains on the fringe, the likelihood of a future contract continues to get slimmer.

While the Bruins are aging and in a period of retooling, the defensive group isn’t going to experience the turnover that the forward group will. If Zboril is on the waiver wire and struggling to find his way on this roster, it is time to move on from the player. The best-case scenario is Sweeney making him available via trade or including him in a trade deadline deal similar to Zach Senyshyn.

While there is no doubt, Zboril is a talented hockey player, and never would’ve made it to the NHL if that weren’t true. He has yet to translate any of those skills on the scorecard. The years of a defensive defenseman putting up low point totals are nearly gone. As shown above, Zboril isn’t helping light the lamp with any consistency, leaving his departure moderately unnoticed.

Related Article: 3 Things We Learned About The Bruins In The Preseason

What if he leaves Boston?

In the short term, this would leave a valuable roster spot available for the Bruins. Ian Mitchell, Mason Lohrei, and Kevin Shattenkirk all seem to be in the running for that spot, and as should be pointed out, all three options are cap savings compared to Zboril. Is 100k-400k in savings really that big of a deal? In the “Covid Cap Era,” that answer is yes.

The Bruins should do right by the player and try to find him a better situation that could set him up for future success. It’s obvious the Bruins defensive unit won’t have an opening for him to play serious minutes any time soon. Moving on from Zboril would put the 2015 NHL Draft focus solely on Jake DeBrusk, who is in the middle of a contract year himself.

Bruins Benders Live. First Round Game 1 Recap Bruins Benders Podcast

The Bruins take Game 1 with a convincing 5-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Jeremy Swayman with 35 saves. Jake DeBrusk with two power play goals. The Benders discuss why the Bruins were able to handle Toronto to take a 1-0 series lead!
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Connor Green

Managing Editor | Inside the Rink

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