Boston Bruins: Nick Holden Acquired in Trade with New York Rangers

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: Nick Holden
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: Nick Holden /

The date is February 20th, 2018 and with six days remaining before the Trade Deadline, the Boston Bruins have made their first move in the buildup to the window slamming shut. Dealing defensive prospect Rob O’Gara and a third-round draft pick.

My first question to ask here is why? Initial feelings are that the Boston Bruins have tossed away a prospect and a third-round pick for a blue-liner that actually weakens the lineup.

Whilst no one was proclaiming O’Gara as Boston’s next-in-line he was still held by few in high regard. He was never likely to crack the Bruins lineup anytime soon especially with just eight points in the AHL this year. O’Gara is 24 now and hasn’t shown the NHL-calibre to warrant outrage at the trade.

As for the third-round pick, given how well the Bruins have drafted of late it seems silly to spurn opportunity for a rental bottom-pair defenseman. It stings that the Rangers acquired Holden for a fourth-round pick and managed to squeeze an AHLer and a third-round out of the Bruins. On that fact alone the New York Rangers have ‘won’ this trade.

More from Causeway Crowd

Nick Holden will be a UFA following the conclusion of this season. It seems unfathomable to me that the Bruins would even entertain the possibility of an extension. Given the nature of this trade however, it remains to be seen.

Holden’s metrics are abysmal. His Corsi For percentage this year is 45.73, meaning when on the ice, the Rangers have had 781 shot attempts and conceded 927 in return. Ranking him 11th on the New York Rangers for players who have played more than 400 minutes. Of the New York Rangers defensive corps, the only player regular in the lineup worse than Holden was Marc Staal with a 44.6% CF.

Some Hope?

The only possibility here is that Holden slots in for Adam McQuaid on the right-side. He is left-handed, but played on the right side for much of the season opposite Ryan McDonagh.  There is no way Cassidy can or will take Matt Grzelcyk out of the lineup. He has more chance of moving up the lineup than moving out of it entirely.

Boston Bruins
OTTAWA, ON – FEBRUARY 17: Nick Holden /

The argument could be that Holden provides some more speed than McQuaid and could link up to the offence that much quicker. Given Cassidy’s adoration of a speedy game he may be less attached to McQuaid than his predecessor Claude Julien was.

Troublesome Trade

All in all, not great news for the Bruins fans to hear. By no means debilitating to the current season it just takes out two future possibilities for a mediocre present.

On the bright side it means surely that the Boston Bruins are done dealing with the New York Rangers. Meaning prized young possessions such as Jake DeBrusk may be safeguarded against the lure of Ryan McDonagh.

Next: Matt Grzelcyk is Massively Underrated

I think it’s fair to say many Bruins fans will be on edge for the remainder of the window and would breathe a sigh of relief were it to close tonight.