The Boston Bruins saw many of their Eastern Conference rivals make trades the past few weeks, and on Friday, the defending Eastern Conference champions made a move of their own.
The B's acquired forward Ondrej Kase from the Anaheim Ducks in for veteran forward David Backes, prospect Axel Andersson and a 2020 first-round pick.
Kase is a 24-year-old forward signed through next season with a $2.6 million salary-cap hit. He's capable of scoring 20 goals and driving puck possession/shot attempts at a positive rate. The primary concern with Kase is health. He's been injured for long stretches of his NHL career, but when healthy, he's been quite effective. Backes, 35, was waived by the Bruins last month after failing to make an impact at both ends of the ice. Getting rid of his contract, which lasts through the 2020-21 campaign with a $6 million cap hit, gives the B's more financial flexibility to make additional trades and/or take care of free agents this summer.
Here's some of the initial reaction to the Kase trade from hockey Twitter. Most of the reviews have been positive.
Bruins land Anaheim forward Ondrej Kase for a first round pick, David Backes and former 2nd round pick Axel Andersson. First rounder is cost of doing business to unload the Backes contract and land Kase. I wouldn’t call him a top-6 winger though.— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) February 21, 2020
A bad Ducks team had the following numbers with Ondrej Kase on the ice at 5v5 this season:— Nicholas W. Goss (@NickGossNBCSB) February 21, 2020
Shot attempts: plus-118
Shots on goal: plus-39
Scoring chances: plus-36
He's also due for a shooting % rebound.
Solid pickup for the Bruins.
Watching some Kase. It looks like he causes defensive chaos on the ice from his speed and tenacity. Damn he looks fun.— Bruins Stats (@bruins_stats) February 21, 2020
Man, remember when we all thought Don Sweeney was bad? Those were the days.— draglikepull (@draglikepull) February 21, 2020
No one loves Ondrej Kase If He's Healthy more than I do. Ondrej Kase If He's Healthy is an awesome player, and the exact type of middle-six creator the Bruins need. I hope Ondrej Kase If He's Healthy can stay healthy.— Dimitri Filipovic (@DimFilipovic) February 21, 2020
If Andersson is in fact a "middle of the road" prospect as our @chrismpeters notes, then it's essentially $3.425 in cap space and Ondrej Kase for 'middle of the road' prospect and a very, very low 1st-rounder.— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) February 21, 2020
Nice bit of business for Boston if Kase can stay healthy. But "if."
the perfection line is already scary enough— dom luszczyszyn (@domluszczyszyn) February 21, 2020
debrusk - krejci - kase is a terrifying second line on top of that now
Love love the move by Boston getting KASE... I think he is so underrated. Great get— Matthew Barnaby (@MattBarnaby3636) February 21, 2020
Kase should fit well with Krejci. Scouting report from 2— Billy Jaffe (@BJaffe) February 21, 2020
People that know him well (combined)...”FAST, skilled, high energy and can score. If he stays healthy the Bs got a good one! “
I kinda like this for Boston. They're giving up a comparable package for a somewhat lesser player (as compared to Coleman or Zucker), but dumping a major cap headache in the bargain. https://t.co/JLxCwtnB1x— Jonathan Willis (@JonathanWillis) February 21, 2020
Per industry source: Kase checks lot of boxes when healthy. Quality middle-6 winger. Competes. Good motor. Hunts pucks. Speed, skill, shot are some of better attributes— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) February 21, 2020
Over the last 2.5 seasons Kase ranks 27th out of 492 forwards in 5v5 expected goals per 60, tied with McDavid, just ahead of Bergeron and Seguin.— Bruins Stats (@bruins_stats) February 21, 2020
His goals per 60 ranks 25th, just below Marchand, tied with Atkinson, Tarasenko, Point.
Read from other front office: Kase legit top 9 forward...with skill set for top 6. Bonafide NHL speed and skill.— Kevin Paul Dupont (@GlobeKPD) February 21, 2020
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of the NHL trade deadline. This Monday at 2:30 p.m., stream the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline Show on the MyTeams app and on NBCSportsBoston.com.