Making the case for the Boston Bruins to target Mark Scheifele

Boston Bruins, Mark Scheifele (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Boston Bruins, Mark Scheifele (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

After a historic 2022-2023 regular season, there are a lot of questions surrounding the Boston Bruins’ future. Particularly this upcoming season. With Boston’s top two centers, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, possibly retiring, the Bruins need to prepare for a roster without one or both of their longtime star centers.

Boston has a few options at the center with Pavel Zacha, Charlie Coyle, Morgan Geeke, and Patrick Brown. I think Pavel Zacha can fill David Krejci’s shoes as Boston’s 2nd line center. Still, as much as I like Boston’s centers on their depth chart, I do not think the Bruins have an option within the organization to be an effective top-line center.

In a world without Bergeron, the Bruins must look for a top-six center outside of the organization, and a player they have been linked to this offseason is Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets.

Mark Scheifele makes a ton of sense for the Boston Bruins

Scheifele is set to be an Unrestricted Free Agent after the upcoming season, and according to NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman, there are conflicting reports about whether or not the Jets will move on from their star center.

If the Jets are shopping Mark Scheifele, it is safe to count the Bruins as a potential destination. NHL Insider Elliot Friedman linked the Bruins as a potential destination for Scheifele.

At 6 foot 3, 200 pounds, Scheifele uses his size to advantage to generate offense and possess one of the most lethal shots in the National Hockey League. Scheifele also possesses strong on-ice vision, allowing him to be a great playmaker. He is considered a strong leader as he has served as an Alternate Captain for the Winnipeg Jets organization for the previous seven years.

Of all the external options to become the Bruins’ top-line center, Scheifele is among the best available options. Still, the two-time NHL All-Star will have big shoes to fill in for an all-time Bruins great, Patrice Bergeron. Scheifele is a terrific offensive player, but he is far from the defensive player Bergeron is.

If the Bruins would like a replacement, who plays a style similar to Bergeron, a more suitable target may be Elias Lindholm of the Calgary Flames. Lindholm is a great two-way center and is two years younger than Scheifele. However, the size and skill Scheifele possesses fit with the Bruins M.O. Friedman, Jeff Marek and David Pagnotta have also linked the Bruins to Scheifele, and where there is smoke, there is fire.

Given our information, it seems Scheifele is a top target for the Bruins in the event Bergeron retires. But like most of the NHL, the Bruins are facing tight salary cap restrictions that will make adding players difficult for General Manager Don Sweeney.

Especially when it is a player of Scheifele’s caliber. To complicate matters even further the Bruins do not have the draft capital, prospects pool or money to make a trade of this magnitude. However, it is not impossible. Winnipeg may be seeking to take on some of Scheifele’s salary to get a return for the player if they feel they cannot re-sign him next summer.

At the moment, the trade market is undefined. For the first time in 16 years, there were no trades during the NHL Draft. Plenty of rumors are flying around, but no deals are being made. A lot needs to unfold before a Scheifele trade happens.

He may be traded this summer or at the Trade Deadline next spring, or he may become a UFA on July 1st of, 2024. Regardless, the Bruins will monitor the situation of Scheifele and other centers that are upcoming Unrestricted Free Agents.

Even if Bergeron plays in 2023-2024, he is 37 years old. Retirement is coming sooner than later. The biggest question the Boston hockey community has about the Bruins’ future is who will replace the Captain as the organization’s number one center?

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It is a question Don Sweeney will likely be forced to address within the next year. Mark Scheifle is as good of an answer as any and a player the Bruins organizations and fans would be lucky to have.