In a stunning move, when the Boston Bruins need center depth the most, general manager Don Sweeney announced that the Bruins have loaned center Matthew Poitras to Team Canada for the IIHF World Junior Championship, according to multiple reports.
According to Fluto Shinizawa of The Athletic, he will return to Boston when the tournament concludes.
Poitras is in his rookie season after making the team out of training camp. Through 27 games with the Bruins, he has racked up 13 points (5 g, 8 a) and has tallied a +3 plus/minus rating.
Currently, the 19-year-old, has not scored since November 4 when they played the Detroit Red Wings, but he brings with him plenty of faceoff ability and a knack for finding players in open ice. He also adds NHL experience to a Canadian team looking to add more accomplished players in an effort to reclaim the Gold Medal they won in the previous tournament.
What does this mean for Boston?
The real question at the moment is, what does this do to Boston’s need for center depth? While many might look at it as another crisis, Sweeney will look at it as an opportunity to see what he has in Providence for future opportunities.
Recently, head coach Jim Montgomery has been re-tooling his lines a lot just to see who meshes the best in certain spots, such as when he had Morgan Geekie taking faceoffs on the top line, but that definitely won’t be the end of it.
There is definitely some depth on this Bruins’ squad if you look at it just on paper, but whether that depth materializes into anything remains to be seen: let’s just say it’s good that they have a lot of players who can play center.