While it’s hard to believe we’re 16 days away from the Boston Bruins preseason beginning, It’s also hard to believe they have yet to name a captain, let alone come out and say who the replacements for centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci are. Maybe, that’s giving away too much intel before the season starts though.
Recently, multiple reports have surfaced, that the Bruins may be joining the trade sweepstakes for Ottawa Senators centerman Shane Pinto. One problem that presents itself is what it would most likely take to pry him away from the Senators.
Some reports are saying it could be high, but it is more of what Boston is willing to give up in order to get Pinto from Ottawa. Coming off a rookie deal, he is looking to get an upgrade in pay after having a monster season to close out his three-year entry-level contract he signed back in 2021.
Pinto is looking to get paid after having the best season of his career in 2022-23. The Franklin Square, N.Y. native had the healthiest season of his career – playing in all 82 games, all while scoring 20 goals and notching 15 assists (35 pts).
Pinto does have youth on his side, as he is only 22-years-old, and that could also turn to benefit the Bruins as well. While he did have a good season, it may take the Boston some prying of pieces that they may not want to give up on, at least not yet.
Who would Ottawa want that Boston may not want to give up on?
If Ottawa were to trade Pinto, surely the Senators would be after some of the Bruins premier prospects, and that could be one of four players in my mind: forwards Fabian Lysell and John Beecher, defenseman Mason Lohrei, and goaltender Brandon Bussi.
Now while all are intriguing options to any teams, the two that need to be protected at all costs are Bussi and Lysell.
Bussi proved himself last year to be a solid de-facto third-string goaltender for Boston while only playing in games for the Providence Bruins (and Maine Mariners, ECHL), despite being called up to the NHL on occasion.
Lysell also proved himself to be a worth candidate despite only playing one season of professional hockey with the club where he scored 14 goals and racked up 23 assists (37 pts). Lysell’s intangibles are really what the Bruins can’t afford to give up on though. His speed, ability to find open players through his passing is why they drafted him, and he showed it this past season.
Lohrei and Beecher are a little bit of a different breed, and have not quite proved their value to the Boston brass. That’s not to say they’re expendable, but the Bruins are definitely more flexible on those two than they would be on the aforementioned Bussi and Lysell.
Lohrei was just recently signed to a two-year entry-level contract out of Ohio State University that goes into effect in the 2023-24 season and has already played in five games for the P-Bruins where he tallied one assist.
Beecher, on the other hand, has had two years to prove himself to Don Sweeney and co., but has yet to do so after having two unimpressive seasons coming out of the University of Michigan in 2022 where he has scored a combined 12 goals and tallied 16 assists (28 pts) in 70 games.
All four players have advantages, and they could play well for both sides. But it would take one, if not more, of these players in order to get Pinto from the Ottawa.