The Boston Bruins swung a huge trade with the New York Rangers on Sunday to acquire top-six forward Rick Nash in exchange for multiple players and draft picks.
The deal adds an experienced, highly skilled winger to a Bruins offense that already ranks sixth in goals scored per game.
Nash has scored 18 goals with 10 assists in 60 games this season, but he wasn’t exactly surrounded with top-end talent in New York. That won’t be the case in Boston, as he’s likely to be slotted into the right wing position on the Bruins’ second line next to David Krejci.
Krejci, as Bruins fans know, has been able to gel with some of the best power forwards in the league throughout his tenure in Boston. Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton both had their best seasons with Krejci as their centerman, and future Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla’s last 30-goal season came alongside the Czech pivot.
Nash is an upgrade over Ryan Spooner — who was part of the trade — on the power play, an area where the B’s could use some improvement.
The Bruins have been drawing penalties at a higher rate this season compared to previous years, but they rank just 15th in power-play percentage. Nash has a better shot than Spooner and is capable of providing a greater net-front presence (setting screens with his 6-foot-4, 235-pound frame, scoring dirty goals in traffic, etc.) with the man advantage.
The trade for Nash gives the Bruins four lines that can score and defend quality opponents. The B’s haven’t had this much depth since they won the President’s Trophy during the 2013-14 campaign.
The Bruins might not be done adding forwards, either, as top prospect Ryan Donato possibly could join the Bruins after Harvard’s season concludes.
Here are the projected Bruins lines after the Nash trade:
Brad Marchand–Patrice Bergeron–David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk–David Krejci–Rick Nash
Danton Heinen–Riley Nash–David Backes
Tim Schaller–Sean Kuraly–Noel Acciari