Bruins

DeBrusk on being subject of trade rumors: "I love being a Bruin"

boston-bruins-jake-debrusk-100617.jpg
File Photo

DeBrusk on being subject of trade rumors: "I love being a Bruin"

TORONTO – Jake DeBrusk has heard about the trade rumors. Heck, the 21-year-old has actually been traded before in his hockey career as he was dealt in junior hockey from Swift Current to the Red Deer Rebels in his final season. It’s a little different, however, when DeBrusk hears his name involved in trade rumors with New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, and reports indicate that DeBrusk is a name that Rangers GM Jeff Gorton wants included in any deal. 

MORE BRUINS

It makes perfect sense with DeBrusk off to a strong start to his NHL career with 11 goals and 29 points in 54 games while playing a top-6 role next to David Krejci, and just scratching the surface of how good he can be with the Bruins. Brandon Carlo has likewise been mentioned prominently as well as a young NHL player being sought after in trade talks. 

But the bottom line for all the Bruins youngsters is that they don’t want to go anywhere, and are doing their best to block everything out while preparing to go out and do their best. 

“I got traded in junior, so I know a little bit about it…but it’s a little different when it’s the magnitude of the NHL,” said DeBrusk. “We’re just focusing on getting wins, and doing everything I can do to help the team win. At the same you’re keeping an eye out and looking [at the rumors] secretly. But it is what it is. You can’t control it. You can only control your play, and do anything I can to help the team win now. You can only take it day by day. 

“I love being with these guys and we’re a pretty tight group. So whatever happens is going to happen, but at the same time whoever is on the ice we’ll go to battle with them.”

MORE BRUINS

Clearly DeBrusk wants to stick with the team that selected him 14th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, and the Bruins would do well to keep a talented, likable and bright youngster that could be a meaningful member of the organization for a long, long time. But he’s also drawing whatever positive that he can out of the situation, and the biggest one is that other NHL teams are clearly taking notice of what he’s done this season as a rookie. 

Being the primary name mentioned in a deal for a player like the captain of the New York Rangers means you must be doing a lot of things right. 

“When you’re a rookie with your name being thrown around and the other guy has some pretty high stature in the league, it’s a compliment. But I don’t look too much into it,” said DeBrusk. “I love being a Bruin. I just want to continue to get better, continue to improve and I’ve got lots of room to grow. I’m just taking it shift-by-shift.”

That’s a smart kid with a good answer as he focuses on his game on the ice, and learns on the job to navigate through his first NHL experience that’s now included being at the heart of a juicy trade rumor for the Black and Gold.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Bruins' "Kid Line" starting to find their way at both ends

boston-bruins-danton-heinen-ryan-donato-celebrate-121318.jpg
AP Images

Bruins' "Kid Line" starting to find their way at both ends

BRIGHTON, Mass – Call it the “Kid Line”, the “a Danton, a Donato and a JFK Line” or just about anything else you want. Just also make sure you call them a young, eager trio looking to lock things down on a Bruins third line that’s been in flux all season. 

After struggling for most of the season, in their past three games, Danton Heinen has goals in two of them, Donato has a goal and three points and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson has a couple of points while also managing a positive plus/minus rating. 

They have kicked in some supporting offense, played with speed and skill one would expect from their youthful backgrounds and give hope that the Bruins are going to eventually find some stability on that third line.

“[JFK] does want to pass first, and Ryan wants to shoot first. So they could end up being a good mix. They’re both young guys that should be comfortable with one another. Young guys come in and tend to want to appease the older guys first, so there shouldn’t be any of that,” said coach Bruce Cassidy. “Ryan has been tried on the second line and could slot in there again. JFK has always been looked at a little lower in the lineup.

“We’d like it to work out where they could play together, and so far they’ve had some moments. I like Danton’s accountability. He returns to the defensive zone quickly and puts things in order. I like Danton in that area no matter what line he’s on. He’s going to play it the right way. For him, it’s just a matter of where the best chemistry is to get his numbers up.”

If Donato, 22, JFK, 22, and Heinen, 23, can find some consistency, it would certainly take one thing off GM Don Sweeney’s checklist while looking for a veteran third-line center like rumored Minnesota target Charlie Coyle. It could also really give the B’s offense a nice, multi-faceted attack, particularly if both Donato and Heinen can find their best offensive game and Forsbacka Karlsson can give them the defensive balance any good line needs.

“[Heinen] is very dependable, and the same with JFK. It’s what he’s known for: Being a 200-foot player. And Danton does the right things that he’s asked to. So for me being on that line I just kind of learn from those guys,” said Donato. “But they’re also young guys, so it’s nice to have that feeling that you’re not the only young guys on the line. You’re not the only young on the ice reading that play.”

That’s certainly the nice thing about a “Kid Line.”

Will the Bruins be able to ride with a potential third line that only boasts one player with even one season of NHL experience?

It would seem to be a tall order, but the talent is clearly there at both ends of the ice. They’ll get a good test on Friday night in Pittsburgh when they’ll surely see plenty of Sidney Crosby & Co. with Pittsburgh getting the last change. That could begin to tell the tale as to whether Boston’s “Kid Line” will stand the test of time. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE


 

Bruins' Charlie McAvoy "hasn't missed a beat" since return from concussion

Bruins' Charlie McAvoy "hasn't missed a beat" since return from concussion

BRIGHTON, Mass. -- Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy missed 20 games with a concussion, and he’s starting to make up for lost time.

He doesn’t have a point yet in the four games since returning in Tampa Bay last week, but he’s been his usual workhorse self while posting a plus-5 overall with four shots on net in those four games since coming back from injury. Even better, he’s averaged more than 20 minutes of ice time per game in that time and clearly given the Bruins a boost in the puck-moving department while scoring 3.5 goals per game after struggling to scrape together goals earlier in that stretch.

“I feel good. I think I came back with a little bit of rust, but since then I think I’ve come back and kind of taken off. I think I’m playing well in my own zone and trying to contribute when I can,” said McAvoy, who has a goal and six points along with a plus-6 in 11 games this season. “Fortunately our offense has been playing fairly well those left few games, so we didn’t really need to do much on the back end.

“It’s about being efficient and being smart, and not trying to look for anything more than the next right play has allowed me to feel like I haven’t missed a beat.”

MORE BRUINS COVERAGE

McAvoy has even taken a bad hit, the blind side shot that got Zach Hyman suspended for two games, and a high stick to the face, and kept right on playing his game. It’s those kinds of experiences that are giving McAvoy his confidence back, and show that he’s truly over the scary first-time experience with the concussion.

“Zero, which is what we were looking for,” said Bruce Cassidy, when asked if there was any hesitation in McAvoy’s game. “We were hoping he’d come back assertive and just play hockey. I think he’s been real good in that respect. The first night there was rust from not playing in terms of handling the puck and making the plays on time. He’d quickly got out of that.

“He obviously took a big hit from Hyman that was suspend-able, and he bounced back from that. I think he’s recovered really well.”     

Now, the next step for McAvoy is to go beyond the good first pass and the kick-start to the transition game and put up some points on the back end. The Bruins sorely missed that in the 20 games while the 20-year-old was out of the lineup, and it’s only a matter of time before that returns for McAvoy too. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE