In order for the first-place Vegas Golden Knights of the Pacific Division to be cap-compliant once players like defenseman Alec Martinez and newly-acquired franchise center Jack Eichel return from injury, Vegas will undoubtedly have to part ways with some of its players. One of those players could be William Carrier.
As such, in a recent article by Michael DeRosa of The Hockey Writers, he identified five Golden Knights players that Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney should potentially target in a trade to improve the team even more in a run. However, of the five mentioned, only one made any kind of sense to me and that was fourth-liner Carrier.
Carrier provides the kind of electric jolt of physicality the Bruins so desperately need
Put simply, the French-Canadian winger possesses an intimidation factor to his game that is all but nonexistent in the B’s bottom-six forwards.
Though Bruins winger Anton Blidh has done a fine job in that role this season, at just 6-feet and 185-pounds, no opposing player is worried when he is on the ice. Especially when some, like Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals, are too busy crushing Blidh when he is.
No one else in the bottom-six does what Carrier does on a nightly basis
For six NHL seasons, the 27-year old, 6-foot-2 and 218-pound winger has been a major physical presence throughout his career with a total of 817 hits to date. In fact, he even put together two consecutive 200+ hit seasons with 277 and 213, respectively, in 2018 and 2019.
While not known for his offensive production, with just 67 points (32 goals and 35 assists) in 291 NHL contests, this season Carrier is already up to 13 points (5 goals and 8 assists) through 36 games with a plus-9 rating as a fourth-liner. In addition, he is on pace to break all of his season-highs in goals (8), assists (12) and points (19) this year.
However, his offense takes a backseat to Carrier’s extremely physical, power forward style of game, which the B’s are in even shorter supply of than secondary scoring. Between Nick Foligno’s age catching up to him, Trent Frederic playing himself out of the lineup and Blidh’s lack of size, Carrier is the B’s best bet at a highly-energetic, yet experienced fourth-line left-wing with a proven scoring touch.
Not to mention, this trade would also reunite Carrier and ex-Golden Knights linemate Tomas Nosek, who were highly effective together during Vegas’ 2017-18 Stanley Cup Finals appearance and subsequent playoff runs.
But what is more is the potential the B’s would have – with Carrier’s high-energy, Nosek’s defensive play and a shoot-first right-winger (Oskar Steen, maybe?) – to form the next great fourth-line in the Eastern Conference and, possibly, beyond.