Boston Bruins: Vatrano Dealt to Florida, Other Updates

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 3: Frank Vatrano
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 3: Frank Vatrano /

With the trade deadline rapidly approaching the Boston Bruins continue to stay active in the trade market. Thursday, the team struck a deal with the Florida Panthers.

Just two days after acquiring defenseman Nick Holden from the New York Rangers in return for Rob O’Gara and a third round draft pick, the Boston Bruins announced they have sent forward Frank Vatrano to the Florida Panthers for a third round selection.

Vatrano, 23, is a Massachusetts native who has spent his entire three year professional career with Boston. He has been a depth forward in all three seasons appearing in 39, 44, and 25 games respectively.

Boston Bruins
DETROIT, MI – FEBRUARY 06: Frank Vatrano /

Known for his slap shot, Vatrano has never been afraid to wind up and rifle the puck on net. Unfortunately for him however, finding the back of the net has been a bit of a struggle. He has just 2 goals this season to go along with a 4.8% shooting percentage, which has dropped his career mark to 7.8% (The league average is 9%).

In return the Bruins get themselves back into the 3rd round of the draft. Since the Panthers are treading water around the .500 mark and are at this point a long shot to make the playoffs, the Bruins essentially moved up from the end of the round to the front half.

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This is a good move by Don Sweeney, Vatrano was struggling to crack the lineup, he was the 14th forward on the roster, had been battling injuries and hadn’t shown much to allow Bruce Cassidy to keep dressing him once he was in the lineup. On top of that, entering Thursday the Bruins had only five picks in the upcoming draft (Fifth round pick was dealt for Drew Stafford last season) so now they’re back to six selections in June.

More Moves to Come?

With Vatrano gone, it opens up a roster spot, which could be used for Holden, or if the team makes another move. Perhaps Jarome Iginla, who has been working out with Providence this week. The Bruins would have to sign him by Monday at 3pm, if they want him to be available for the playoffs.

I don’t think that will be the case, and I think we’ll see Sweeney pull the trigger on another depth piece. Sorry for those who want fireworks before the deadline like Ryan McDonagh, Rick Nash or even super long-shot Erik Karlsson, I just don’t see that kind of move happening.

Other Updates

Anders Bjork (Shoulder) is done for the season.  The rookie forward underwent successful shoulder surgery Tuesday at Mass General. He is expected to be sidelined for six months.

No practice for the second straight day as the team has arrived in Toronto ahead of Saturdays game. Cassidy spoke to reporters Thursday morning and said that Nick Holden has joined the team and would be skating on his own Thursday.

Cassidy said that he expects Holden will need a few practices before seeing game action. That would mean this weekend’s games against Toronto and Buffalo are off the table for his Bruins Debut.

Next: Would the Bruins deal with a division rival?

Tuesday night in Edmonton saw some shuffling of the lines with David Krejci and Riley Nash swapping spots. Nash finished centering Jake Debrusk and Ryan Spooner, while Krejci was in between Danton Heinen and David Backes. Cassidy stated that they will go back to their usual spots for practice Friday.