It’s no secret that the Boston Bruins have some big names to make decisions on this offseason. Veteran center and career-Bruin, David Krejci as well as his linemate and trade deadline acquisition, Taylor Hall, are unrestricted free agents (UFA). While decisions haven’t come for these two yet, some decisions have been made, or at least made for the B’s. when it comes depth players.
The other day we learned that veteran defenseman Steve Kampfer officially signed with AK Bars Kazan of the KHL. A few weeks ago, the B’s extended depth forward Anton Blidh to a one-year, two-way deal worth $750,000.
Today, it was announced that the Black and Gold made two more moves involving their depth forwards as they extended both center Cameron Hughes and left wing Joona Koppanen to one-year, two-way deals. According to CapFriendly, they are both worth $750,000 each.
This isn’t surprising as both forwards were Boston draft picks and are still young at 24 (Hughes) and 23 (Koppanen) years old. On top of that, they were both restricted free agents (RFA), so the B’s still owned their rights and they were only leaving the organization via release, unmatched offer sheet, or trade.
Cameron Hughes and Joona Koppanen are both key players for the P-Bruins.
Over the previous three seasons, Hughes has been one of the better players on Boston’s AHL affiliate in Providence. Over this time, he has suited up for 121 games with Providence, scoring 24 goals and 65 points.
This season, Hughes took quite a large step forward as he had the best season of his AHL career. In 25 games, he scored five goals and 21 points.
With his hard work and success in at the AHL level, Hughes has received call-ups in each of the last two seasons. For each call-up, he only saw NHL ice for game. In both games, haw didn’t register a point and was a -1.
While Hughes has found success in the AHL, Koppanen has not. This was actually Koppanen’s first full season in the AHL. Previously, he had gone back and forth between the AHL and ECHL. However, over the last three seasons in the AHL, he has played in 109 games and registered just 14 goals and 26 points.
Koppanen may not be the player that Hughes is, but he still serves an important role for Providence playing in their bottom-six.
With Sean Kuraly most likely out of the question to return to the B’s for next season, Hughes could be in the mix to earn a bottom-six role. However, Koppanen will most likely only see the AHL next season.