Boston Bruins: A perfect preseason start for Jake DeBrusk

Boston Bruins, Jake DeBrusk (Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Boston Bruins, Jake DeBrusk (Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) /

For the entirety of the off-season, Jake DeBrusk was in the rumor mill. Whether or not the Boston Bruins were actually shopping him does not really matter now, as the 24-year-old winger should be with the team to start the season. He was one of the fans’ primary punching bags last season, as he scored just five goals and recorded 14 points in 41 games. However, now he has a fresh start and already seems to be taking advantage of it.

In last night’s preseason game against the Washington Capitals, fans truly couldn’t have asked for a better performance from him. Sure, one immediately can argue that it wasn’t a regular season game, so it doesn’t matter all that much. However, if this is what’s to come with DeBrusk this season, a bounce-back year should be in order. He not only scored a goal in regulation for the team, but he also netted the shootout winner in glorious fashion.

This is exactly what the doctor ordered, as DeBrusk seemed to show that high degree of confidence he once had. Keep in mind, it was just two years ago that he scored 27 goals and in 68 games. Thus, the potential of him being a solid scorer in this league is there. It’s just a matter of finding that consistency he once had.

There’s also a strong chance that DeBrusk will have two entirely new linemates for this season. When playing on the third-line last season, he primarily played Nick Ritchie and Charlie Coyle. Now, Ritchie is a Maple Leaf and Coyle is expected to jump to the second-line. Erik Haula and Nick Foligno seem like the top choices to join DeBrusk’s line, and this also could be a positive change for him. Last year’s trio simply didn’t benefit him in a positive manner.

DeBrusk has one year left on his contract and carries a $3.675 million cap hit. He is eligible for restricted free agency, so the Bruins do have some control over his future. If he has rebounded and contributes well, the B’s will absolutely want to keep him around and ultimately should. Yet, if he struggles significantly again like last season, it could be the end of his time in Boston.

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At this juncture, fans should be excited to see if he can turn it around. In fact, they also should be rooting for him. It will be exciting to see if he can make games like last night a common occurrence during the regular season. Until then, let’s just praise Jake for a solid first showing.