Wingels to make his Bruins debut tonight

Wingels to make his Bruins debut tonight

BRIGHTON, Mass – Newly acquired center Tommy Wingels wasn’t present at the morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena, but he’ll be making his Bruins debut on Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes in part due to the Patrice Bergeron injury.

The Bruins franchise center is out at least two weeks with a fractured right foot sustained Saturday night in the loss to the Maple Leafs. The reason behind Boston’s trade for Wingels made a bit more sense after the news broke on Bergeron. Riley Nash will step up and bring his defensive-minded approach to centering Bergeron’s spot between Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak, and Wingels will center the third line between Danton Heinen and David Backes.

Wingels, who turns 30 in April, is expected to bring a rugged veteran presence capable of killing penalties, play a hard-nosed brand of hockey and give the Black and Gold a capable NHL veteran to step in when things like the Bergeron injury happen.

“Wingels has played more center than [Brian] Gionta, so we’ll start there. They’re both going to play here in time,” said Cassidy of Wingels, who had seven goals and 12 points in 57 games for the Blackhawks before coming over to Boston for a conditional fifth-round pick. “I try not to get specific when [Gionta] will go in. [Wingels] will play with Backes and Heinen with Backes maybe working in the middle at times. It will be more ‘by committee’ now with all of the pieces moving in at the deadline, and with Bergeron out. I’m not going to lie. [The Bergeron injury] creates a hole, but we’re going to use different guys in different roles to fill it.”

Here are the line combos and D-pairings with Brandon Carlo also getting reinserted back into the Bruins lineup after Sunday’s healthy scratch, and Tuukka Rask expected to get the starting nod against the Hurricanes at TD Garden:











Bruins trade target Hanifin traded to Calgary

File photo

Bruins trade target Hanifin traded to Calgary

Former Boston College defenseman Noah Hanifin, a Bruins trade target who they once tried to trade up to get in the 2015 draft, has been traded from the Carolina Hurricanes to the Calgary Flames in a deal that includes former B's defenseman Dougie Hamilton going to Carolina.

The 'Canes sent center Eric Lindholm and Hanifin, both restricted free agents who rejected Carolina's most recent contract offers, to Calgary for Hamilton, winger Micheal Ferland and prospect defenseman Adam Fox, who was a third-round pick in 2016 now playing at Harvard,

The Bruins have a longstanding interest in Hanifin that goes back to their efforts to trade up for him in when he was the fifth overall pick three years ago. The Canes likely sought Bruins left winger Jake DeBrusk in the hefty package they were seeking for Hanifin. 




Bruins choose Swedish D-man, Czech forward with first two picks

Bruins choose Swedish D-man, Czech forward with first two picks

DALLAS – On the second day, the Bruins finally got involved in the NHL draft at the American Airlines Center and made a few picks. The day started in the second round (57th overall) with the B’s selecting young Swedish defenseman Axel Andersson from Djugardens, a 6-foot, 183-pounder from the Swedish junior leagues who's put up pretty good offensive numbers with what’s said to be pretty good skating ability.

"It meant a lot to me and my family," Anderson said. "My mom is in tears right now, and we just hugged each other. It was a big day for me."

In the third round (77th overall), the Bruins took Czech center/left wing Jakub Lauko, who played for Team Czech in the World Junior tournament this past season. Lauko, 18, is 6-foot, 179 pounds and is a speedy, tenacious forward from the assorted scouting reports on him. Lauko was expected to be drafted higher than the third round and certainly didn’t lack for confidence in saying he’s one of the fastest skaters in the draft.

“My speed is my biggest strength. I think I’m one of the fastest players in the draft, so I want to use my speed to help a team like Boston,” said Lauko, who said he only spoke with the Bruins scouts at the NHL combine earlier this month in Buffalo. “[Detroit Red Wings'] Dylan Larkin is the same like me. He’s a really fast guy that likes the breakaways. I think in this way we are the same.”

Lauko compared himself to Larkin and the speed game is certainly one that the Bruins are continually interested in with their prospects.

There was a very funny moment when the Czech-born Lauko was asked what his parents do (for a living), and he misunderstood the question and answered: “I don’t know? Maybe they will drink tonight.”

In the fourth round (119th overall), the Bruins took big center Curtis Hall, a 6-foot-3, 191-pounder who's committed to Yale next season and who scored 13 goals and 31 points in 54 games last season for the USHL Youngstown Phantoms.  

In the sixth round with the 181st pick, the Bruins selected 6-2, 188-pound defenseman Dustyn McFaul out of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. McFaul is considered a strong two-way D-men with good size and skating ability and is committed to play at Clarkson University. 

With their final pick (seventh round, No. 212), the Bruins selected forward Pavel Shen, 18, from Russia. The 6-1, 183-pounder got into 29 KHL games last season with 12 goals and 14 assists, which is impressive considering his age.