It's not yet known when newly acquired forward Ondrej Kase will make his Boston Bruins debut, but he took part in his first practice with the team Monday at Warrior Ice Arena.
Kase skated at right wing on the second line alongside David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk. It could be a preview of the 24-year-old's role with the Bruins, who have been looking for a permanent fixture to Krejci's right throughout the season.
One of the Bruins' primary needs ahead of Monday's NHL trade deadline was adding scoring depth, and specifically a second-line right winger. Kase, if healthy, is talented enough to fill that role, and Krejci came away impressed by what he saw from the newest Bruin after their first practice together.
"He's fast. He can score," Krejci told reporters. "Hopefully, he'll fit in well and help the team."
"You kind of have to adjust your game a little bit, but you have to get a feel for each other," Krejci added. "You've got to be on the same page with the breakouts, neutral zone. He's a right-handed shot, so -- I'm not sure what's going to happen (Tuesday vs. the Flames) -- but it's always nice to have a right-handed shot on your line."
One reason why Kase is a good fit with Krejci is the speedy winger shoots a lot. He's tallied 135 shots on goal in 49 games, putting him on pace to shatter his career high of 146 SOG in 2017-18. The young forward is due for some puck luck, too, as his 5.2 shooting percentage indicates. This number is well below his career average, but the good news is he's likely to get higher quality scoring chances playing alongside a talented playmaker of Krejci's caliber.
Kase was acquired by the Bruins on Friday in a trade that sent David Backes, prospect Axel Andersson and a 2020 first-round pick to the Anaheim Ducks. Giving up the first-round pick was more to dump Backes' terrible contract than to acquire Kase.
The Bruins also acquired Kase's Ducks teammate Nick Ritchie on Monday in a deal that sent Danton Heinen to Anaheim. Ritchie gives the Bruins a little more size and toughness in the bottom-six, but the real benefit to that trade was the salary cap space (about $1.3 million) the Boston gained.