The Boston Bruins' Most Valuable Trade Pieces

As of this writing, the Bruins currently sit just outside of a wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. They are 3 points back of the Detroit Red Wings, but with 5 games in hand. That should indicate that the Bruins are capable of hauling themselves back into a playoff spot. However, getting themselves into 4th place in the Atlantic is one thing, but catching the Panthers, Leafs, or Lightning - who are between 10 and 14 points ahead of Boston - is another task entirely. The Bruins may end up being a bubble team this year, but knowing the talent this team employs that shouldn't rule them out of a playoff run. The Bruins will want to make some moves at the deadline to bolster their roster if that playoff run is going to come to fruition. Here are the most valuable pieces the team has to offer in return.

Jake DeBrusk

After requesting a trade earlier this season, and following a pair of seasons where he was plagued by trade rumors, it seems like this year Jake DeBrusk will finally be moving on from the Bruins. In 25 games this season, DeBrusk has 5 goals and 8 points. He's producing at a bottom-6 level, but for a player taken 14th overall in 2015, there is some expectation for him to develop into more than that. The '18-'19 season that saw DeBrusk score 27 goals in 68 games is a distant memory, and he is now a player that looks to be in need of a fresh start. He still carries some trade value given his potential upside, and his status as an RFA next summer adds some more enticement for interested teams.

Curtis Lazar

Included in the deal that brought Taylor Hall to Boston, Curtis Lazar is another former top-20 pick - this one from 2013 - who has not materialized into a top-end NHL talent. Lazar seems destined for bottom 6 duties wherever he goes, but that doesn't mean there won't be clubs interested in his services. The pending UFA has 2 goals and 5 points in 20 games with the Bruins this season. His career-high is 5 goals in a season, but he may have a shot at breaking that total if he gets sent to a contender.

1st-Round Pick

With the Bruins in a bubble position and unlikely to climb much higher than that, their 1st-rounder carries a bit more value than what would come from a contending team. As it stands, the Bruins would be selecting 11th overall next summer if they stay in their current position in the league standings. That seems unlikely given the extra games they have to play, but a selection anywhere in the top 20 will carry more value than any picks coming later on.

Linus Ullmark

Yes, the Bruins just signed this guy last summer, for 4 years no less. However, with news of Tuukka Rask practicing with the Bruins following his recovery from hip surgery, there suddenly seems to be a log jam in the Boston net. The Bruins won't be trading their up-and-comer Jeremy Swayman, the guy is playing like a starter while costing the team less than $1 million in cap hit for this season and next. That leaves Linus Ullmark, a bonafide starter in his own right, as the odd man out. It's a question of if the Bruins intend to return to Tuukka Rask on a full-time basis, or if they have permanently moved on from their longtime netminder. If Rask is to return, paying Ullmark $5 million to be the backup in Boston seems like a poor use of salary cap, but plenty of teams would be interested in bringing in the 28-year old goalie, especially given the term he carries.

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