To say that this is a big offseason for the Boston Bruins is an understatement. General manager Don Sweeney has several key free agents that he has to make some decisions on to keep or let go as he builds a competitive roster for the 2021-22 season.
While there are some free agents that Sweeney would like to re-sign that could go a long way into helping the Black and Gold roster be one that contends for the Stanley Cup, there are some players already under contract that if they are still on the roster, Boston could use a bounce-back season from.
One of those players under contract that the Bruins could use a bounce-back season from is left wing Jake DeBrusk. This was an underperforming season from the 24-year-old No. 14 pick in the first round of the 2015 Entry Draft, as he had just five goals and nine assists.
No one would be surprised if the Bruins traded the Edmonton, Alberta native or held onto him, but if DeBrusk is serious about having a bounce-back season next year, he should follow the lead of one of Boston’s alternate captains.
It was reported by Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now that Brad Marchand is already back on the ice preparing for next season just two and a half weeks following their elimination loss to the New York Islanders in Game 6 of their second-round playoff series.
In reality, should anyone be surprised by this? As his career has gone along, Marchand has become one of the top left wings in the NHL and is a big reason why David Pastrnak has had a breakout in the league.
Marchand has recorded 40 or more assists in the last seasons and is four away from 400 for his career. He had 23 assists on the power play in 2019-20 and 14 more this past season. He does have 319 career goals. The man has become one of the most consistent points producers in the NHL.
DeBrusk had a breakout 2018-19 season with 27 goals and in 2019-20, he potted 19 more on the second line with David Krejci. This season, however, was a major setback in terms of production, and sometimes, you could say in his work ethic and hustle.
Coach Bruce Cassidy must have thought the same as he twice made DeBrusk a healthy scratch in the regular season and then even one more time in the postseason. If the young player does not get the message from Cassidy, then there is some serious questions surrounding his commitment to the Bruins.
Is DeBrusk committed to the Bruins? You would like to think so, but if DeBrusk is serious about having a bounce-back season, he should be working harder this offseason than he has in the past. You have your alternate captain reportedly back on the ice already thinking ahead to next season and making a run to win a Cup and DeBrusk should be too. There is a lot a young player can learn from a veteran.
There is a reason why Marchand has become one of the top left wings in the game at the age of 33.