The Boston Bruins have barely missed the Stanley Cup playoffs in each of the last two seasons, and general manager Don Sweeney will look to the trade market to improve his roster.
“We’re exploring a bunch of different things trade-wise. It’s difficult in this league,” Sweeney said during a media conference call Wednesday. “But I think we’re in a position with two first-round picks to either be selecting really good players or be in the marketplace.”
The Bruins had three first-round picks in last year’s draft and ended up selecting three players, but this year might be different. Boston owns its own selection at No. 14, but it also owns the San Jose Sharks’ first-rounder, which could fall anywhere from No. 27 through No. 30.
It’s clear the Bruins need help on the back end. From March 1 through the end of the regular season in mid-April, they gave up the seventh-most scoring chances and shot attempts at even strength.
The only defensemen to drive puck possession above 50 percent (using the Corsi For percentage metric) during 5-on-5 play were Torey Krug and Colin Miller, and both were sheltered with a high amount of offensive zone starts. The Bruins finished 19th in goals against average for the whole season.
Sweeney identified Boston’s need on the blue line, admitting “we need to look for another transitional D-man.”
When asked if he’d look to trade a defenseman on his current roster with veteran Kevan Miller re-signed, Sweeney said: “I’ll explore whatever I have to, in every way, shape and form to improve our club and find the blend and balance that we need.”
The 2016 NHL Draft will be held June 24-25 in Buffalo, N.Y., and free agency is scheduled to open July 1.
“It’s a matter of finding a trading partner or finding a match in the marketplace,” Sweeney said. “But we’re going to be aggressive.”
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney