Ondrej Kase is the newest member of the Boston Bruins after the Anaheim Ducks traded him to the defending Eastern Conference champions Friday, and he already has experience playing alongside some of his new teammates.
Kase and Bruins forward David Pastrnak are both from the Czech Republic, and they played together in international tournaments early in their careers.
"Yeah, I know him. We grew up playing in the national teams together," Pastrnak told reporters in Calgary before Friday night's game against the Flames. "He's a great kid, exciting for him to join us. I think he's a great player, so it's definitely going to be fun to have another Czech (on the team)."
What can Kase bring the Bruins?
"Obviously, some scoring," Pastrnak said. "He's an offensive player, really smart. He works hard and battles hard -- something that you always need."
The Bruins acquired Kase in exchange for David Backes, prospect Axel Andersson and a 2020 first-round pick. Not only does Kase give the Bruins much-needed scoring depth, getting rid of Backes' contract -- which has another year remaining and a $6 million salary cap hit -- gives the team more financial flexibility to make another move before Monday's NHL trade deadline. The additional cap space also could help the Bruins re-sign some of their free agents this summer, most notably top-four defenseman Torey Krug.
Kase has tallied 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) in 49 games for the Ducks this season. He also played with Bruins forward Chris Wagner when both of them were in Anaheim.