Noah Hanifin – Defenseman – 20 Years Old – $925,000 Cap Hit
Noah Hanifin hasn’t directly been mentioned in trade rumors. As Jim Murphy mentioned on Twitter, however, the Hurricanes could be shopping Hanifin and Brett Pesce if the right return is found, per Pierre McGuire. This could simply be speculation, but still, Hanifin would be a very welcome addition to the Bruins blue line.
While many of the Bruins trade targets over the last few seasons have revolved around right-handed defensemen, they also could look for some left handed defensemen to step in right away and play. With Brandon Carlo, Colin Miller, and Charlie McAvoy all looking like the future for the Bruins on the right-side, and Kevin Shattenkirk also an option, the Bruins will need to plan for Zdeno Chara’s replacement. This isn’t to say that Chara’s replacement will fill his specific role, but a new top-four left-handed defenseman will be needed sooner than later.
Hanifin is only 20 years old but he’s already shown that he’s a legitimate NHL defenseman. At 6 foot 3 and 206 pounds, Hanifin has legitimate NHL size. He’s also a Boston native and excelled at Boston college in his draft year before being selected fifth overall by the Hurricanes.
Hanifin isn’t a top-tier defenseman at this point in his development, but he could still fill a big role for the Bruins on a team that could allow him to play more to his strengths. It’s unclear what the cost of Hanifin would be, but the Bruins should at least inquire if they think they could pry him away from Carolina for a reasonable price.