2016 NHL Entry Draft: Boston Bruins Should Trade For 15th Overall Pick

Feb 13, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Boston Bruins forward Ryan Spooner (51) skates with the puck in the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Boston Bruins beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 13, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Boston Bruins forward Ryan Spooner (51) skates with the puck in the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Boston Bruins beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /

2016 NHL Entry Draft: Boston Bruins Should Trade For 15th Overall Pick and More at the Draft This Year

Last year on draft day, Don Sweeney ended up acquiring the 13th and 15th overall picks, to accompany the 14th overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. Fast forward to the 2016 NHL draft, which is just 16 days away and according to NHL EXPERT PICKS, the Minnesota Wild are willing to trade their top pick, #15 overall, for an established player who can help them win now.

Not only is this intriguing because it would give the Boston Bruins consecutive first-round draft picks, but the Wild have two young defensemen that have been coined as possible trade candidates for the Bruins. These would of course be Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba. Would they trade young talent in order to get an established player? One Bruins player I could see fitting the mold if the Wild were dead set on getting an established player and nothing else is Ryan Spooner. The Wild, however, might need to trade an established player to get one, that’s where Brodin and Dumba come into the equation.

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Jonas Brodin was taken 10th overall in the first round of the 2011 NHL draft by the Wild and would likely fit well and be a nice upgrade to the Bruins struggling defensive core. He struggled a little bit on the offensive-side of the game this season, tallying seven points and a -4 rating in 68 games. Don’t be alarmed by those numbers; he had a down year and he is just 22 years old with plenty of time to grow and improve. He is a left-handed two-way defender with solid skating ability and smarts. He has even drew comparisons to Detroit Red Wings legend, Nicklas Lidstrom – take that as you will.

Getting Brodin now would give him time to develop in Boston before hitting the prime of his career and provide him an opportunity to become a staple in the Bruins defensive core for years to come.

Matt Dumba is just 21 years old and would be another great option, but a right-handed one, contrary to Jonas Brodin. In my eyes, at least right now, Dumba is a better option than Brodin. He was taken 7th overall in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft and had immediate hype surrounding him after being drafted.

Dumba finished the 2015-2016 season with a career best 26 points in 81 games, along with a +1 rating. Brodin and Dumba possess similar strengths in their games and both have bright futures ahead of them. One main difference is that Brodin has a cap hit of over $4 million through the 2020-2021 season and Dumba is an RFA. It would be very surprising to see the Wild let Dumba hit the free agent market. Would they sign and eventually trade him? What would his price tag be in a trade? We will have to wait and see.

The Wild could surprise and decide to keep both of them and see how they develop in the system in which they are already accustomed to. Dumba is the guy who I want the Bruins to target the most. He is young, talented and there is a good chance he costs you less in a trade than Kevin Shattenkirk, Sami Vatanen or Tyson Barrie might. Saving assets and trading for someone with high potential versus other, more expensive options, is something that should seriously be taken into consideration by the Bruins.

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In late May, Bruins General Manager, Don Sweeney, mentioned the center position as a place where the Bruins might look to upgrade. The Wild’s core of centers includes Mikko Koivu, Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Jordan Schroeder, Erik Haula and Jarret Stoll. Out of the mentioned players, Stoll is a UFA and it wouldn’t be shocking to see him hit the free agent market. Jordan Schroeder is an RFA and has been juggled between the Minnesota Wild and their AHL affiliate, the Iowa Wild. You don’t necessarily need him in the way when you have guys like Sam Anas, Alex Tuch and Joel Eriksson Ek in your prospect pool. So it’s likely that if the Bruins and Wild are talking about the center position, Stoll and Schroeder likely won’t be involved.

This leaves Koivu, Coyle, Haula and Granlund. I don’t see the Wild trading Koivu or Coyle.

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  • Erik Haula has played center and left wing and put up 34 points and a +21 rating in 76 games this year. Maybe he is involved in a trade to Boston because of his ability to play multiple positions, as well as a piece to add some scoring in the possible absence of Loui Eriksson or if they do not acquire Jimmy Vesey’s rights. The Bruins could end up with Brad Marchand, Matt Beleskey and Frank Vatrano on the left wing with Erik Haula slotting in where he is needed in case of an injury. He is just 25 years old too. The fourth line left wing spot is up for grabs right now depending on what they plan on doing with guys like Chris Kelly, Tyler Randell and Landon Ferraro. Kelly, Randell and Ferraro are all currently seeking new contracts.

    There have been rumblings of Granlund being on the trade block. It’s all speculation, but could Sweeney make a move involving a Ryan Spooner and Mikael Granlund swap? The two have similar frames and had similar scoring production this past year. Granlund’s cap hit is slightly more than triple Spooner’s $950,000 cap hit. The Bruins have some free agents that Sweeney wants to lock up that won’t be cheap, so this could be tough. Whether Sweeney thinks Granlund would be an upgrade over Spooner is unknown as well.

    Spooner and Haula on the other hand have very similar cap hits and contracts that expire after next season. Haula is just a year older than Spooner and their production isn’t drastically different. Haula also plays multiple positions; versatility should always be welcome on any team. A trade involving these two might not please both sides straight up, so draft picks and other pieces could be in play. Could a trade look something like this?

    To Boston:

    • Erik Haula
    • 15th overall pick
    • 2017 3rd round pick

    To Minnesota:

    • Ryan Spooner
    • 2016 first-round pick (SJS)
    • 2016 2nd round pick (NYI)

    This trade would leave the B’s with no second or third round picks, and Don Sweeney might not like that. At the same time, he has traded some other questionably high draft picks in other past trades, so who knows?

    Getting a 2017 3rd round pick back would be nice given the fact that Sweeney handed one to the Philadelphia Flyers on a silver platter for Zac Rinaldo. For all the Spooner fans reading this, I like him too. But if I’m in Sweeney’s position and can get a capable replacement for him and jump up in the first round, I’m going to do it. Erik Haula took a 20 point leap from the 2014-2015 season as he went from 14 to 34 points. Could he keep trending upwards in terms of his production? He could be a nice third line center possibly with Frank Vatrano or Matt Beleskey and whoever they decide to slot in at third line right wing.

    If the Bruins had the 14th and 15th picks, Don Sweeneycould use one to take a center or winger and one to take a defenseman. Maybe he decides to further upgrade at the center position with one of his first rounders and takes Logan Brown, Michael McLeod or Tyson Jost; let’s just hope those three don’t have NHL homes by then. By the time Spooner and Haula’s contracts expire, one of those centers might be ready to step in and take his place. If those players aren’t available, you go towards defense or the wing. Dante Fabbro, Jake Bean, Charlie McAvoy and Julien Gauthier are some guys that could be waiting to hear their names called that would be welcome additions to the prospect core. Sweeney could also go all out and try to package the picks and move up even further in the draft.

    Next: Five Realistic Draft Day Scenarios For The Bruins

    This will sure be an interesting draft for Bruins fans if Don Sweeney has some tricks up his sleeve like last year. The future could be bright for the team, but only time will tell how quickly the Bruins’ can become competitive again.