With their 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (Jan. 24), the Boston Bruins improved to a remarkable 38-5-4 record. Because of their immense success, the Bruins are expected to be major buyers at the trade deadline and have been Associated with many big name players It is because. The Vancouver Canucks, on the other hand, have a 19-25-3 record and will be one of the league’s most active sellers because of it. Therefore, these two clubs could very well become trading partners before the deadline passes.
The Bruins are currently a team Bo is heavily associated with Horvat, and it is finally understandable when they mention that they have “Stanley Cup or bust” expectations. There’s no question that adding Horvat would be huge, but if Vancouver’s asking price becomes too much for the Bruins to reach, they have another star forward from the Canucks worth considering. Let’s dive into why now.
Andrei Kuzmenko is a candidate for hire
In the last season, Andrei Kuzmenko There has been a lot of interest in the free-agent market. It’s understandable, as he recorded a 53-point campaign in 45 games with St. Petersburg SKA of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). The Canucks would certainly end up being the lucky team to acquire him, and he’s lived up to the hype since joining them. His offensive production has translated nicely to the NHL, as he has 21 goals and 43 points in 46 games so far with Vancouver.
Kuzmenko is off to a great start in his NHL career, suggesting that the Canucks are currently targeting Sign him an extension. However, if negotiations don’t result in a new deal being finalized by March 3, there’s a real chance we’ll see skilled forwards dealt at the deadline. After all, he’s a pending unrestricted free agent (UFA), and the struggling Canucks can’t afford to lose a player of this caliber for nothing during the summer.
If Kuzmenko is officially made available by the Canucks, he will receive a lot of interest around the league from playoff teams. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bruins enter the sweepstakes, as he has all the tools to be a great fit for them.
Why the Bruins could use Kuzmenko
Although the Bruins have been firing on all cylinders this campaign, there’s no question they could still use another star like Kuzmenko in their lineup. When looking at a potential fit for him, I could see him slotting perfectly on the third line with Charlie Coyle and Taylor Hall. This will allow Trent Frederick AJ Greer’s replacement In the right wing role of the fourth line. Overall, adding a player like Kuzmenko would significantly deepen the Bruins’ forward group.
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Furthermore, Kuzmenko has shown this season that he can score often, making him a surprising addition to the Bruins’ power play. At times this season, Boston’s power play has looked a bit stale, so adding a star like Kuzmenko to their second unit could be extremely beneficial.
Still, the most interesting aspect about Kuzmenko is that he easily carries an affordable $950,000 cap hit. The Bruins won’t be able to find a player of his caliber for so little, which would increase Boston’s interest in him. Additionally, he will get to play with better players on the Bruins, so his offensive production will increase in the process as well.
Possible trade between Boston and Vancouver
This is evident as Kuzmenko has had such a good season His trade value has increased. As a result, the Bruins will have to give up a good amount to successfully acquire the sniper. The Bruins’ 2023 first-round pick, 2024 third-round pick, and a prospect like Brett Harrison could be enough to get this deal through. Overall, this would be a pretty hefty price, but with the Bruins going everywhere this campaign, it’s worth at least some consideration.
I could see the Canucks being interested in a promising prospect like Harrison. He doesn’t have as much hype as the Bruins prospect, though Fabian Liesel And Mason Lohre, he still has the potential to be a top-nine forward at the NHL level. He has 24 goals with 48 points in 36 games this campaign between the Oshawa Generals and the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Overall, the 6-foot-2 forward is clearly on the right track with his development, so he could be a great fit for a retooling club like the Canucks.
However, it is clear that Kuzmenko is a trade target The Bruins should consider making a push for that. He has shown this season that he has point-per-game potential and will be a big addition to Boston’s forward group as they prepare for their postseason run. Meanwhile, the Canucks will be securing some quality assets for the future, so this deal will likely be a win-win for both clubs. Alas, let’s see if the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals opponents make a deal centered around Kuzmenko from here on out.
Michael DeRosa is a contributor who covers the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings for Hockey Writers. Since 2017, he has written and edited for numerous websites. In addition to his work for THW, you can also find him on NHL trade rumors.