If Jake DeBrusk wasn’t in the Boston Bruins’ doghouse before, there’s some thought around Boston that he certainly seems to be now. A team already lacking confidence in a forward they refused to sign to a long-term deal, DeBrusk has struggled mightily this season. Worse yet, he was made a healthy scratch Tuesday.
In the first year of a two-year bridge deal, DeBrusk has not played well for the Bruins who are managing to compete near the top of their division despite his lack of production. He’ll get a game to sit in the press box as the Bruins take on the New York Islanders, but the talk isn’t so much about how he’ll respond from sitting, but what his being scratched might mean for his future with the team if he doesn’t.
Head coach Bruce Cassidy says that the team isn’t getting an ideal effort out of DeBrusk and that he was scratched because he wasn’t giving it his all. It’s not clear if this scratch is for one game, multiple games or if the writing is on the wall that the team will shop him.
Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic reports:
“For now, according to one assistant general manager, the Boston Bruins have not made Jake DeBrusk available for a trade. If that happened, multiple franchises would jump into the mix because of the 2015 first-rounder’s playing style and postseason pedigree.”
We’ve talked a lot on this site about DeBrusk’s troubles and the potential that he could be traded. The chatter keeps getting louder as through 17 games, he has just one goal and five points. His underlying numbers aren’t terrible and his 2.9 shooting percentage can’t last, but something is off right now. There’s some concern in Boston he may not get things back on track.
Does One Game Really Change Things?
One game might be all it takes to provide a bit of a wakeup call to DeBrusk; that is, if his effort level is really the issue. This certainly isn’t a good look for the forward and it will be interesting to see what might happen to his trade value as a result.
One team to watch here might be the Edmonton Oilers. Jake’s father Louie is a commentator in Edmonton and he loves the city. The Oilers could use a young player with the potential to be a top-six forward and they have a few assets on the blue line they could offer up in return… Caleb Jones.
There’d need to be more in the deal for salary cap reasons but if DeBrusk winds up on the market, the Oilers and Bruins might have a conversation.
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