Two players on the Boston Bruins who might be of interest to the Edmonton Oilers come summer

Photo credit:Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
4 months ago
On Tuesday evening, the Edmonton Oilers will take on the Boston Bruins in the state of Massachusetts.
It’ll be the second meeting between the two teams in a matter of a few weeks, as the Bruins rolled into Edmonton and edged out a wild 6-5 overtime victory back in February.
Despite losing Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci last off-season, the Bruins own a 36-13-14 record and are competing for the top spot in the Atlantic Division. This is a team that continues to find success despite changes to their roster year after year. 
A big strength of the Bruins is goaltending, as they have a 1A/1B situation between Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark. The latter won the Vezina Trophy in 2022-23 as he posted a .938 save percentage and a 1.89 goals-against average in 49 games, with a 40-6-1 record. This season, he’s down to a .910 save percentage and a 2.77 goals-against average in 30 games, with a 16-7-6 record. Swayman has been the better of the two goalies, as the 25-year-old has a .921 save percentage and a 2.49 goals-against average, and may contend for a Vezina Trophy this season.
In the latest edition of Rink Fries on Sportsnet, Jeff Marek pointed out that Bruins’ netminding prospect Brandon Bussi will have to clear waivers next season and that trading Ullmark could help fill other holes. Bussi, who was signed out of Western Michigan University, posted a .924 save percentage in the AHL last season and has a .909 save percentage for the Providence Bruins this season. 
Oilers general manager Ken Holland has said that with the play of Stuart Skinner and Calvin Pickard, he won’t be looking for a netminder at this season’s deadline. However, picking up the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, who has an additional year on his contract with a cap hit of $5 million, might be worth the time. Of course, it’ll be much easier to execute such a deal in the summer, as the Oilers will have an opportunity to buy out the remainder of Jack Campbell’s five-year, $25 million contract in June. 
The Bruins also have a top-six forward who could be of interest to the Oilers. In fact, the player’s dad is a former Oiler and is the colour commentator for the team’s broadcasts on Sportsnet. If you haven’t guessed yet, I’m talking about Jake DeBrusk. The 27-year-old left-winger is a pending unrestricted free agent and has a cap hit of $4 million.
According to Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now, an NHL source had this to say about DeBrusk:
“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.”
Could the Bruins look to trade DeBrusk, who they may have to move because they’re money in and money out, for a defenceman like Brett Kulak? Of course, the Oilers would have to add to balance that trade out, but Kulak has a $2.75 million cap hit and two more seasons remaining. Not just that, but Kulak has proven in the past to be capable of playing on the second-pairing on a cup contender.
Trading Kulak for DeBrusk is an easy fix for the Oilers, as it’ll allow them to call up Philip Broberg to replace Kulak. Of course, they’d then need to trade for defenceman depth, but there are certainly advantages for both the Bruins and the Oilers if they look to make a deal at this season’s trade deadline.
Later in that same article from Boston Hockey Now, Murphy quoted NHL analyst Pierre McGuire stating that if the Bruins don’t re-sign DeBrusk, he’s likely to head out west and sign with one of the two teams based in Alberta.
“Here’s what I do know: If the Bruins don’t sign him – and, I don’t know if they will or won’t, I’m sure they value him – I guarantee an Alberta team will offer him a major contract,” NHL analyst Pierre McGuire said on a recent Eye Test Podcast. “I guarantee you, whether it’s Edmonton or Calgary, he’s going to be taken care of in the province of Alberta. That’s if Boston doesn’t sign him, and that’s not a scare tactic; it’s reality. I mean, there’s a need for that type of player.”
Like with Ullmark, it might not make sense right now because of the team’s salary cap situation. But come summer, DeBrusk should be a player on Edmonton’s radar. It’s just destiny for him to be an Oiler. 

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