With the Boston Bruins amidst their first mini-slump after losing three in a row recently, there might be signs that additions will need to be made to the roster as the trade deadline approaches. The Bruins’ primary needs are potentially another top-six center or scoring forward and maybe even some size and nastiness on the defensive corps. With limited salary cap space, veterans such as Matt Grzelcyk and Derek Forbort might have to be moved to make room. Even free-agent-to-be Jake DeBrusk could be dealt as well. The Bruins have had some trade action with the Anaheim Ducks in recent years, and here are three potential targets for Boston.
The left-shot, left-wing was a Bruin for 108 games from 2015-18 and scored 20 goals so there is familiarity there. The East Longmeadow, Massachusetts native has developed a knack for scoring goals since, with 13 on the year in 21 games so far. With the departures of Taylor Hall and Tyler Bertuzzi, the Bruins could use a scoring left wing, and Vatrano could fill that need with one year left on his contract at a cap hit of $3.65 million. Boston will need to include Grzelcyk or Forbort in the deal to make the money work.
The 30-year-old Strome has three years left on a $5 million contract, so that could be tricky. However, Strome is a center who can also play right wing if Boston wants to move DeBrusk back to his natural left wing. The fifth overall draft pick in 2011 has just three goals but has collected 13 assists in 21 games. The Bruins have gotten solid production from Pavel Zacha and Charlie Coyle, and rookie Matt Poitras is filling in admirably as a third line center. However, the long season could catch up to the 19-year-old and Strome would be good insurance.
The 33-year-old left-shot center has three goals and seven assists for Anaheim and is approaching 500 points in his NHL career. Henrique could provide veteran depth at the center position for a modest return in trade. The 14-year veteran can submit a 10-team No Trade list, and it is unknown if Boston would be included. Henrique does make $5.825 million, and the Bruins would have to see if Anaheim would take on any money in a potential deal.
Boston will be looking for potential low-cost, high-reward deals in the coming weeks, and Anaheim presents a possible fit once again in trade scenarios. The Ducks have lost seven in a row but do have an exciting young core of players and some assets that can be moved to continue the youth movement. In the past, the Bruins have acquired defenseman Hampus Lindholm from Anaheim and traded forward Danton Heinen to the Ducks for Nick Ritchie.