TSN released its first 2021 "Trade Bait" board Monday as the rumor mill heats up ahead of the April 12 NHL trade deadline, and there are a couple of players on this list who the Boston Bruins would be wise to target.
The Bruins are in a pretty good spot a month-and-a-half into the 2020-21 season. They are two points behind the Washington Capitals for first place in the East Division with two games in hand. Boston ranks 14th in goals scored per game, seventh in goals allowed per game, eighth in power-play percentage and third in penalty kill percentage.
So, they are a pretty well-rounded team.
That said, their depth on the blue line is currently being tested by injuries to defensemen Jeremy Lauzon, Kevin Millar and Matt Grzelcyk. The Bruins claimed veteran defenseman Jarred Tinordi off waivers from the Nashville Predators over the weekend, but ideally he's just a depth addition.
The Bruins absolutely need another veteran d-man, preferably one capable of excelling in a top-four role.
TSN's initial "Trade Bait" board is full of defensemen who the B's could target. In fact, the top four players ranked are blueliners.
- Mattias Ekholm, Nashville Predators
- David Savard, Columbus Blue Jackets
- Tony DeAngelo, New York Rangers
- Brandon Montour, Buffalo Sabres
Ekholm would be the best fit for the B's from this group.
He's a legit top-four defenseman who positively impacts the game at both ends of the ice. The Predators have a loaded blue line and likely will need to make some tough decisions ahead of the expansion draft for the Seattle Kraken in July.
Ekholm also is signed through next season, so he wouldn't be a rental if acquired before the April trade deadline.
The Bruins need to be aggressive at the trade deadline. They have a very good team and a strong chance to make another deep playoff run. The veteran core is aging, and this might be the group's last chance at winning another Stanley Cup title.
Going all in would be a smart move for the Bruins, and part of that should be acquiring a top-four defenseman.