Sunday, May 29 2022

Does this hypothetical Bruins trade package for John Klingberg make sense? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Bruins could use another defenseman — preferably of the top-four variety — before they enter the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

They have until the March 21 NHL trade deadline to make an impactful move to upgrade the blue line.

One of the best defensemen who could be available is Dallas Stars veteran John Klingberg. The 29-year-old has a $4.25 million salary cap hit and is able to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. So, he’s a rental unless the team that acquires him can work out a contract extension.

Ranking Bruins’ best assets to use at 2022 NHL trade deadline

Saad Yousuf and Corey Pronman of The Athletic crafted hypothetical Klingberg trade packages for some of the teams that could pursue the talented defenseman before the deadline.

One of the teams examined was the Bruins. Here’s the trade package that Yousuf and Pronman came up with:

  • Stars receive: LW Jake DeBrusk, 2023 first-round pick

  • Bruins receive: John Klingberg

DeBrusk’s trade request went public in late November, and even though his overall play has mostly improved since then, he’s still frustratingly inconsistent as a goal scorer with only one tally in his last 12 games. Giving up DeBrusk is not a huge setback for the Bruins’ offense.

The first-round pick is where it gets a little dicey. The Bruins don’t exactly have a good prospect pool. In fact, it’s ranked among the worst in the league. Trading away a first-round pick obviously would make it pretty difficult for the Bruins to improve their prospect pool, especially after they dealt first-rounders before the trade deadline in 2018 and 2020. 

USA TODAY Sports

One issue with Klingberg is his offensive numbers have been trending downward over the last three years. He’s still a solid top-four defenseman, but the decreasing scoring totals are a concern. Klingberg also is due for an expensive long-term contract if he reaches free agency. 

Giving up a first-round pick for this type of player just doesn’t make sense for the Bruins. Another issue is Klingberg is a right-shot defenseman. The B’s have Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo on the right side of their top two pairings. Boston’s primary need on the blue line is a left-shot defenseman.

If the Bruins are going to part with a first-rounder, it should be to acquire a player who has term on his contract beyond this season. Two examples are Vancouver Canucks center J.T. Miller and Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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