The Boston Bruins have several options available to them as the March 1 NHL trade deadline nears.
Boston is in prime position for a playoff spot after winning six of its last seven games. One or two moves could really improve the B’s chances of earning a playoff berth. At the same time, the Bruins restocked the cupboard with quality prospects in recent drafts, so there’s no need to make a desperate move because help already is on the way.
You won’t find some of the most talked about names on our list below. Why is that? Well, some of them are overrated and not worth paying a huge price to acquire.
One of those players is Colorado Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog. Sure, he plays an exciting power forward-style of hockey, but he’s tallied just 26 points in 50 games this season. The Avs captain has hit the 60-point mark only once in four non-lockout seasons, and he has an injury history. He’s not worth the steep asking price.
Here are five players the Bruins could target before Wednesday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline.
Radin Vrbata, RW, Arizona Coyotes
Stats: 15 G, 31 A, 61 GP
Vrbata, who would be a rental acquisition, could play on any of Boston’s top three lines and provide much-needed offensive production at right wing. The 35-year-old forward is on pace for his sixth 20-goal season.
Jannik Hansen, RW, Vancouver Canucks
Stats: 6 G, 7 A, 28 GP
Hansen had an injured knee earlier this season and missed several weeks. He’s hasn’t lit up the scoresheet since returning from injury, but he’s proven to be a capable bottom-six scorer in recent seasons, as his HERO chart below illustrates.
P.A. Parenteau, LW/RW, New Jersey Devils
Stats: 13 G, 14 A, 59 GP
Parenteau could add depth scoring and provide valuable versatility with his ability to generate offense from both wing positions.
Cam Fowler, D, Anaheim Ducks
Stats: 11 G, 20 A, 63 GP
Fowler is an offensively skilled D-man with good puck-moving ability and the size to win physical battles in the defensive zone. He’s also a talented skater and capable of quarterbacking a power play with his playmaking skill.
The 25-year-old veteran is a legit top-four defenseman with another season left on his contract, one that carries a team-friendly $4 million cap hit. The Ducks have an abundance of young, NHL-caliber defensemen and run the risk of losing one in the upcoming expansion draft if they don’t make a move soon.
Brendan Smith, D, Detroit Red Wings
Stats: 2 G, 3 A, 33 GP
Smith won’t provide much scoring from the back end, but he’s a well-rounded defenseman who can play on the third pairing and contribute on special teams.
He logs a lot of minutes, 18:55 per game with Detroit to be exact, which includes 1:55 of penalty kill ice time per game. His skating and puck-moving skills are above average, which would help the Bruins exit the defensive zone quicker and start their transition game. His possession metrics are solid, too, as you can see in his HERO chart below.
Smith will be an unrestricted free agent if unsigned July 1, so he’d probably be a rental if acquired. The Red Wings need to rebuild, and Smith is one piece they can use to acquire future assets.
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