As the Boston Bruins stockpiled a war chest of veteran forwards once free agency opened, everyone was left wondering: Where does Jake DeBrusk fit into all of this?
Bruce Cassidy has an idea.
DeBrusk is coming off his worst season as a professional, but he still is young and has proven before that he can be a valuable middle-six scorer. And with camp right around a month away, the Bruins head coach sees DeBrusk possibly fitting in as the third-line left winger.
“Jake, obviously, on the left side third line behind (Brad Marchand) and Taylor (Hall) would be a good fit for him to start, and see where it goes with the other guys,” Cassidy told reporters Thursday.
Cassidy envisions Nick Foligno playing on the right wing, with Tomas Nosek and Erik Haula both playing in the middle. That does keep the door open for DeBrusk to stake his claim to that third-line role, which largely was occupied by Nick Ritchie, now of the Toronto Maple Leafs, following the trade deadline last season.
DeBrusk, in part because of his versatility, played all over the lineup last season. But he’s a left shot and looks visibly more comfortable when playing on his natural side. Getting the opportunity to start there next season as he looks to get back on track could be good for him.