There’s been reportedly a number of teams calling the Boston Bruins who are interested in Jake DeBrusk, after the winger requested a trade from the team. One of those is the Seattle Kraken.
The 32nd NHL team has struggled out of the gate like some expected. They sit in seventh in Pacific division with a 8-13-1 record. Not many expected them to compete this season for the postseason and while it’s early, you always have to consider the future.
They could be a team willing to trade for DeBrusk and take flier on the No. 14 pick from the 2015 draft. It’s purely speculation at this point, but Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet threw out this idea for a trade between the Bruins and the Kraken in his latest 32 Thoughts column.
"“This is a personal brainstorm, but I wonder if there’s a fit with Seattle in a Mason Appleton-type move. Appleton found a niche in Winnipeg last season, but it’s been harder with the Kraken. DeBrusk will be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and a qualifying offer just above $4 million.”"
If the Mason Appleton of last season returns, he could provide secondary scoring
At first, looking at the return, it’s not much. But I also think we need to prepare ourselves for a low return for DeBrusk.
Mason Appleton is in a similar sort of situation in Seattle. He doesn’t appear to be a fit in Dave Hakstol’s system, or rather the system isn’t a fit for him. In 11 games played, he’s scored just two goals, which both came on Monday, and an assist. A change of scenery could be good for him.
The good part is that Appleton has produced points in the past. Last season with the Winnipeg Jets, he scored 12 goals and added 13 assists for a total of 25 points in 56 games. Those numbers would have ranked him eighth on the Bruins in points, sixth in goals and eighth in assists.
What’s better is that Appleton is better known for his defensive ability. He saw time on the PK in Winnipeg as well. He would be a solid addition to the Bruins’ bottom-six given his two-way ability.
Again, his numbers offensively this season aren’t good. And boy do the Bruins need some offense right now. But he is on a completely new team that is also struggling. He’s coming off a career year, is only 25-years-old, can play center or wing and has an AAV this season of $900,000. Appleton will be a restricted free agent this summer.
I think taking a risk on a player like Appleton could be worth it. He’s not a top-six guy. There’s no questioning that. I think the more realistic expectation could be for Appleton to find a role in Boston like he did in Winnipeg in the bottom-six and thrive in it. And his performance will vastly outplay the money he is owed this season.
Is it a great return for a player like DeBrusk? Eh, hard to tell. But I think it could be a low-risk, high-reward trade where you’re getting a capable, young, bottom-six forward while giving away a player that doesn’t want to be in Boston.