Boston Bruins 2023-24 Player Grade: Jake DeBrusk has another strong postseason

After an up and down regular season, Jake DeBrusk was one of the best Boston Bruins players in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Six
Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Six / Claus Andersen/GettyImages

Just like every season, there was a lot of eye on Boston Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk going into the 2023-24 season. He was entering the final year of his contract that carried an AAV of $4 million. There were more questions (again) about whether or not GM Don Sweeney was going to look to deal the 14th overall pick of the 2015 Entry Draft. As he did during previous trade deadlines, he held onto him.

Now that the season is over, DeBrusk is the biggest free agent decision that Sweeney has ahead of July 1. Does he re-sign him or risk losing him for nothing? Sweeney said last week that he would prefer to have DeBrusk return to the Black and Gold, but there may be opportunities he explores elsewhere. As we wait to see what happens with him, let’s take a look back at his season and give him a grade.

Jake DeBrusk battled injuries in the regular season

After the Florida Panthers eliminated the Bruins in six games in the second round, DeBrusk revealed that he played the second half of the season with a broken left hand. That would make a ton of sense since, during the last couple of months of the season, he struggled at times in all situations for second-year head coach Jim Montgomery.

A broken hand makes sense since there was a dip in his production as he finished with just 19 goals and 21 assists, with two goals and eight assists coming on the power play, while averaging just under 17 minutes a night. 

Jake DeBrusk had a very good postseason

DeBrusk said he got healthy right before the playoffs started and it makes sense with the 13-game stretch he had against the Toronto Maple Leafs and Panthers. Along with Jeremy Swayman, they were hands down the two best and most consistent players in the postseason.

DeBrusk led the Bruins with five goals and six assists and was a factor on most shifts while averaging a career-high 18 minutes a game.

He began the playoffs with two goals in Game 1 against the Maple Leafs, both second-period power-play goals. He also finished with an assist in the game on a Brandon Carlo goal in a 5-1 Bruins victory. This was arguably his best postseason behind the 2019 Stanley Cup run and last season’s first-round battle with Florida where he had four goals and two assists in seven games.

Jake DeBrusk’s future in Boston is cloudy

Does DeBrusk’s camp and the Bruins get a deal done ahead of free agency? That remains to be seen, however, if there is one thing we can take away from his time in Boston is that when he’s on, he can be a difference-maker, just like in the playoffs. Boston targeting a top-line center could be beneficial for DeBrusk as we all remember two years ago when Bruce Cassidy put him with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, he took his play to another level.

Boston Bruins. B+. . . Jake DeBrusk