There’s no denying the Boston Bruins‘ need for another defenseman, specifically on the left side.
After Matt Grzelcyk, well, there’s not much on the left side. Neither Mike Reilly or Derek Forbort have looked like top-four defensemen this season. Jakub Zboril looked like he could potentially fit the part before tearing his ACL and ending his season. Urho Vaakanainen has looked promising in these last few games but it’s a small sample size.
The Bruins should be extremely active at this year’s deadline, but it appears they aren’t waiting around to begin shopping.
Both Arizona Coyote Jakob Chychrun and Dallas Star John Klingberg have been in trade rumors for a while and there already has been the discussion among Bruins fans as to whether or not Boston should trade for them, So do either players make sense for the Bruins to try and acquire?
The Bruins shouldn’t trade for either defensemen – each for different reasons
We’ll start with the easy one and that’s Klingberg. There’s no denying Klingberg’s legitimacy as a top-four defenseman. I would say I have more confidence in Klingberg making an impact than Chychrun, just because Chychrun’s value comes from his one breakout season last year.
But the Stars blue liner plays on the right side, and with Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo anchoring down the top two spots on that side of the ice, there’s no need for Klingberg.
Sure, he’d be a great third line defenseman. But if skillset very much exceeds that kind of role. He wouldn’t get nearly as much ice time as he would deserve, or he would take away minutes from McAvoy and Carlo.
He’s a pending free agent so he would likely just be a rental, but there’s no room for him this season, or in the future, on the Bruins’ right side.
For Chychrun, he would be a great fit on the left side. He can play top minutes and excel on both ends of the ice, he’s just 23 years old and has three years left making $4.6 million a year. He wouldn’t just help out this team this year, Chychrun would make the Bruins’ top-four dangerous for the foreseeable future.
But a talent like Chychrun isn’t cheap, and the Coyotes hold all the cards right now. There’s no reason at all to rush a trade with Chychrun. He still has another year after this season before his modified no-trade clause kicks in. He’s on an extremely cheap deal for a young, talented defenseman like himself.
The Coyotes will try and milk every last asset out of a team in a trade for Chychrun and rightfully so. And that likely puts the Bruins out of play.
There’s no doubt the conversation for Chychrun starts with a first-round pick and a high-end prospect. While the Bruins have their first-rounders for the next three seasons, their prospects pool ins’t exactly overflowing. With the team getting older and the future of Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron going to coming into question within the next few years, the Bruins will need those picks.
Going along with that, they’re going to need the prospects they already have. Someone like Fabian Lysell would certainly be one of the first names that Arizona asks for. They’re not going to ask for a Jake DeBrusk, or an Oskar Steen or even a Jack Studnicka, at least not at first.
They’re going to want Lysell or Mason Lohrei, someone with top-end potential. And the Bruins cannot afford to give up those top future Bruins because again frankly, it will kill this team’s future.
Yes, they are in win-now mode. But Chychrun is the bell of the ball and someone is going to pull out the bag for him. Heck, even if the Bruins wanted to and did offer a package like Lysell, DeBrusk and a first, it likely won’t be the best offer and one that the Coyotes will pass on.
There will be other defensemen available the Bruins can get. It’s still early before the deadline and teams that may not be sellers right now might be under different circumstances by the time the deadline rolls around in mid-March. Likewise, teams that might be sellers now might not be looking to give off goods later on.
The Bruins should certainly do their due diligence and look into both Chychrun and Klingberg. But when it comes to fit, Klingberg isn’t it and when it comes to cost, Chychrun will be too much for Boston.