Address Needs by Getting Jake DeBrusk, Linus Ullmark From Boston
The Boston Bruins could help the Golden Knights improve in two areas: the power play and in goal.
Starting with Jake DeBrusk, the Golden Knights get a young, reasonably priced player who is looking for a change of scenery. The two-time 40-point scorer will again add some depth to Vegas’ offensive attack.
The power play is where Vegas would really like to upgrade with this move, and while DeBrusk has only three power play points this season, he has 36 in five seasons, including two years with double-digit points.
It’s not a perfect solution in terms of the man-advantage, but he has proven to be helpful in that capacity before, and he should be useful offensively either way.
The more important piece of this deal for the Golden Knights is the addition of netminder Linus Ullmark. He has been solid in his first year in Boston and had found success with the Buffalo Sabres (which says something) prior to coming to Boston.
He would be a great compliment to Robin Lehner, who has not been as sharp this season, in part because of various injuries that he’s been nursing. Perhaps Ullmark will even be a replacement for Lehner as time goes by, depending on the severity of his injuries. Either way, having him in the mix will be good for Vegas.
On the Bruins side of things, trading DeBrusk makes sense, because he asked for a trade out of Beantown. In addition, Ullmark, though he’s been good, has taken a backseat to Jeremy Swayman, who is having a breakout season and figures to be the future of Boston goaltending.
DeBrusk wants out and Ullmark is making $5 million to be the backup to the man you know will be your guy for the foreseeable future. It makes total sense to see these players go.
In terms of acquisitions, Boston is able to get a goalie back to replace the departing Ullmark, plus the Bruins would acquire a member of the inaugural team in Vegas, William Karlsson.
With the addition of Giroux at center, as well as the recent insertion of Jack Eichel at the same position, Karlsson becomes an expensive third-line center that is expendable for Vegas.
The original idea was that this trade would involve the Dallas Stars, with forward Joe Pavelski being the focal point of the deal. However, after Friday’s contract extension for Pavelski, it seems as though he is off the table.
As it stands, this trade helps Vegas improve its goaltending while also adding some scoring depth that can hopefully aid the power play. Boston rids itself of a player that wants out and a player that has become expensive and less impactful.
Those three trades for the Golden Knights can address some of the team’s biggest needs and get the club back on track after things have gone sideways lately. A team once projected by many to win the Presidents’ Trophy is now fighting for its playoff life, so I expect the team to be busy in the coming days.
The next week and a half will be full of trades, and for the Vegas Golden Knights, they need to be a part of that action, or they’ll risk 2022 becoming a lost season.