Boston Bruins' Best Trade Of The Past Year

The Boston Bruins have made a number of very smart and strong trades that have turned out great for them to this point. Not only have they loaded up on a number of key players on expiring contracts over the past year, it gives them the opportunity to have contract discussions with them about being extended.

As a few of the core members get older, the Bruins have been trying to find the next group that will assume key roles and lead the team to their next Stanley Cup. The three trades that I want to note that have been smart and strong trades are acquiring Pavel Zacha in exchange for Erik Haula, bringing in Dmitry Orlov (75% retained) and Garnett Hathaway for Craig Smith, a first, second, third, and fifth round pick, and then acquiring Tyler Bertuzzi (50% retained) for a future first and a fourth round pick.

Considering Bertuzzi has just one goal and six points in 13 games since being acquired, the trade is still good due to the opportunity the Bruins have at early negotiations if they want to keep him around. Also the timing of acquiring him when Taylor Hall went down with an injury. But taking those elements into consideration, this isn't the Bruins' best trade of the past year.

The Zacha trade was crafty as the Bruins got younger and got out ahead. He is seven years younger than Haula, has much more potential at this point in his career, just as versatile, and has many more goals and points this season. The Bruins also got to extending him at four-years, $4.75 million AAV while Haula may hit free agency with the New Jersey Devils. Though the one-for-one swap has been very beneficial for the Bruins, the huge deadline addition is the winner here.

Nobody expected Orlov to turn into an elite defenceman once he was traded over to the Bruins. He was always good, but his defensive game is what was more noticeable. After the trade, the 31-year-old Russian came out flying. He has three goals and 13 points in 16 games since the trade after scoring three goals and 16 points in 43 games with the Washington Capitals this season prior to being dealt.

On top of that they got a fourth liner well equipped for playoff hockey who has also contributed offensively thus far. Though it cost the team four draft picks, they were able to dump Smith's contract and only two of the picks are for this upcoming draft.

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