Jake DeBrusk Trade Rumors Further Cement How Bad 2015 Draft Was For the Bruins

By Tyler Gauthier
Oct. 05, 2020

The NHL's hot stove season is in full effect as the league's free agency starts Friday.

In the days leading up to the free agency hoopla trade rumors have been rampant around the league and one of the more commonly brought up teams in reports is the Boston Bruins who seemed to be planning a mass exodus of core members and supporting cast who have been around for a while.

The name that everyone seems to be certain will be dealt is Jake DeBrusk who has spent the past few seasons on David Krejci's left wing on the teams second line.

In DeBrusk's three season on the team he's been a widely inconsistent player that at times has been a blessing and a curse to the Bruins.

DeBrusk scored 35 points in 65 games for the Bruins in the 2019-2020 regular season, but finished the year (before the league shutdown) with just 1 point in the team's final 14 games.

His slump extended into the postseason too where he logged just 4 points (all goals) in 13 games while also being a -3 in 5 on 5 play. The lack of production from him and his line mate Ondrej Kase was a big factor in the teams second round exit and uncompetitive series with the eventual champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

The front office is certainly in the right to question whether the restricted free agent can ever be a consistent top-6 forward in the NHL, and the rumored demand from his agent of a $6 million AAV contract per year is enough to give any team a pause.

What makes the Bruins look bad on the DeBrusk front is the draft they acquire him in.

DeBrusk was the sandwich pick of the teams three consecutive first round picks in the 2015 draft, which was GM Don Sweeney's first at the head of operation.

An important draft at the time as the team was in the middle of a re-tool, the Bruins traded defenseman Dougie Hamilton and forward Milan Lucic to flank their original first round pick in the draft giving them a rare opportunity to draft three first round talents uninterrupted.

The Bruins drafted DeBrusk, defenseman Jakub Zboril and forward Zach Senyshyn.

Only DeBrusk has seen substantial NHL time between the three, as Zboril and Senyshyn have only played 8 combined NHL games to DeBrusk's 203 games.

What makes matters worse for the Bruins were the three players drafted directly after their picks have all become legit NHL players and all have produced more than DeBrusk has.

Right after the Bruins three picks, the New York Islanders drafted center Matthew Barzal, the Winnipeg Jets drafted left wing Kyle Connor and the Ottawa Senators drafted defenseman Thomas Chabot.

Brazal has become one of the leagues best players and led the Islanders to the conference finals this year, Kyle Connor led the Jets with 38 goals this season, and Chabot has been a big minutes eater for the Senators playing 26 minutes a night.

All three would fill a void on the Bruins.

Barzal would be the perfect player to replace Patrice Bergeron as the teams 1st center taking the load off the 35-year old veteran.

Connor would help add to the secondary scoring that the team has lacked in recent years.

Chabot would be the perfect companion to Charlie McAvoy, as he is a left shot defenseman with a large frame, good at moving the puck and great defensive prowess.

Even at the time there was questions regarding the team's picks, specifically Senyshyn who wasn't projected to go til the second round.

Later in the first, the Vancouver Canucks drafted Brock Boeser, who's a gritty right wing that is capable of putting up 50+ points a season that any team would like, and the Philadelphia Flyers drafted Travis Konecny who's one of the league's best young centers.

The draft wasn't a total zero though as they took defenseman Brandon Carlo early in the second round, except oh yeah, his name is in trade rumors tools the team may be questioning if he'll ever play the physical style that his frame would suggest.

It might be too early to give up on Carlo as he has been a pretty good defenseman for the team in his time here, however he did have a lackluster postseason and the fact that his name has been brought up in rumors is typically a sign that the scouts don't think you're gonna live up to potential.

Sweeney's tenure as Bruins general manager has, for the most part, been good.

However, poor drafting will hurt any team in a league with a hard salary cap and it certainly plagued his predecessor Peter Chiarelli.

The fact that it's a very real possibility the Bruins could have nothing left from a draft where they had three first round picks and an early second, when there was plenty of late first round talent lying around, is concerning.