The Boston Bruins managed not to mortgage much of their future with their sacrifice of defensive prospect Axel Andersson to the Anaheim Ducks.
Plenty of prospects’ names have been bandied about as being prospective trade pieces this deadline, but the Boston bruins managed to pull off a coup only giving up Axel Andersson and their first-round pick, as well as most of the burdensome contract of David Backes in return for Ondrej Kase.
Perhaps the biggest reason to be impressed with Don Sweeney‘s deal here is not just the fact he rid the team of Backes’ deal, but that he did so without giving up a blue-chip prospect like Urho Vaakanainen or Jack Studnicka.
Not only that, he hadn’t yet graduated to playing in the American Hockey League, instead still lining up with the Moncton Wildcats in Canadian major junior.
The young Swede, in his first season in North America had managed to tally 22 points in 41 games, while posting a plus/minus score of +16 and seems to play the same style of game as countless Swedish defensemen this decade; smooth skating, strong puck-moving and just playing with an all-round confidence about him.
It seems likely that, although a seventh-round pick back in 2017 as opposed to being a second-round pick like Axel Andersson, he may simply find his spot in the prospect pool usurped by fellow Swedish right-side defenseman, Victor Berglund.
Perhaps that is why there was a degree of comfort in the Boston Bruins moving on from him. Of course, every prospect you move on from, you run a certain risk of them coming back to haunt you.
The Boston Bruins depth chart defensively has plenty of options moving forward on both the left and right sides. Connor Clifton and Jeremy Lauzon are the most recent proof that anyone can claim their spot on the main roster if they play well enough.
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There’s no doubt Axel would’ve eventually graduated, but in terms of this deal, the Boston Bruins had to give up some youth as well as this year’s first-round pick.
The Anaheim Ducks are working to re-build their franchise and who knows, maybe in a few years’ time, he’s one of the cornerstones.
If he is, so be it – the Ducks have been wise in their scouting. If not, perhaps Don Sweeney is a wiser deal-maker than we sometimes give him credit for.