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The Bruins could move impending free agent Jake DeBrusk ahead of the trade deadline, should the Oilers be interested?

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Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
1 month ago
Among the players set to hit unrestricted free agency for the first time this summer is Edmonton native Jake DeBrusk.
Selected in the first round of the 2015 draft, DeBrusk has spent his entire professional career with the Boston Bruins. Given his expiring contract, it’s reasonable to wonder if the 27-year-old’s time with the club might be coming to an end.
Over at Boston Hockey Now, Jimmy Murphy quoted an anonymous NHL source who speculated as to whether the Bruins might consider trading DeBrusk before he can leave in free agency for nothing.
“Does he wind up back west as a playoff rental for a contender out there – we’ve all heard the Oilers rumors – or does he become a playoff rental for the Bruins,” one NHL source asked Boston Hockey Now recently. “It sure doesn’t seem like he’s signing an extension – if he signs one – before the season’s over.”
DeBrusk made his NHL in 2017-18 and scored 16 goals and 43 points across 70 games. The following season, he broke out with 27 goals and 42 points in 68 games and also helped the Bruins reach the Stanley Cup Final, where they came up short in a seven-game loss to the St. Louis Blues.
After that, DeBrusk’s production took a step back and he started to find himself in more and more trade rumours. During the shortened 2021 season when playing mostly in front of empty stadiums, DeBrusk scored only five goals and 14 points in 41 games and was a healthy scratch multiple times. He returned to form and scored 25 goals in 2021-22 and 27 goals in 2022-23, but he has only 13 goals and 27 points in 58 games this season and has been criticized for inconsistent play.
When DeBrusk is scoring goals and playing his game, the trade rumours naturally subside, but the combination of his contract status and his inconsistent production will inevitably result in his name coming up plenty between now and next week’s deadline. DeBrusk noted earlier this week that there hasn’t been any progress on a contract extension and that trade rumours are nothing new for him.
The Bruins have a 32-12-14 record and sit in a tie with the Florida Panthers for the top spot in the Atlantic Division, a surprisingly successful season considering Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci retired in the summer. That said, despite their strong record, Boston has been in buyer mode for quite a while now, so moving a soon-to-be UFA for younger talent that can help the team next year and beyond might be an ideal move.
Considering he’s from Edmonton, DeBrusk has naturally been a player many have talked about as a target for the Oilers over the years. The Oilers are said to be seeking a centre or right-winger to improve their forward group, so DeBrusk, a left-winger, probably isn’t an ideal fit at this moment, but he should be a name the team considers this summer in order to add depth scoring and physicality to the roster.

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