In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, David Pastrnak’s camp has recently begun talking extension with general manager Don Sweeney, and as of now, things appear to be quite positive. Meanwhile, David Krejci is reportedly also in talks about returning on a one-year deal for the 2022-23 season. Meanwhile, Patrice Bergeron is reportedly nearing a decision on his playing future but does not have a definitive answer either way just yet. Last but not least, the Bruins selected six players at the 2022 draft, all of whom will be discussed briefly below.
Pastrnak Extension Talks Headed in the Right Direction
Earlier this offseason, there had been some buzz that the Bruins may be shopping Pastrnak. Despite only having one more year left on his contract, this still took everyone by surprise, given the immense talent level the 26-year-old possesses. While a trade still does remain a distant possibility, it appears an extension, which the two parties have recently discussed, is the most likely option.
“We haven’t exchanged numbers. We’re just talking and being aggressive and saying we’d like David to be a lifelong Bruin,” Sweeney said. “Strongly indicated to him we’d like him to be a lifelong Bruin.
“He’s been a really good player, he continues to be a really good player. He’s a superstar in the league, and he’s a superstar around the world. We’re fortunate to have him.”
Pastrnak is currently on a deal that pays him roughly $6.67 million per season, meaning he is undoubtedly in line for a raise. This past season, the talented Czech winger scored 40 goals and 77 points in just 72 outings.
Krejci Discussing Return
According to several NHL insiders, including Kevin Weekes, Krejci and Bruins management are having discussions regarding a return for the 2022-23 season. This is something that has been rumored for months now and is at the point that it seems more likely than not that we do see him back in the NHL this coming season.
At 36 years old, it is fair to question whether or not Krejci still has what it takes to be the Bruins’ second-line centerman. That said, he was his usual productive self last season in Czechia, scoring 20 goals and 46 points in 51 games for Olomouc HC. He posted strong numbers in 2020-21 with the Bruins as well, registering 44 points in 51 outings.
Bergeron Nearing Decision
Weeks ago, it appeared that Bergeron had made his decision and would be returning for the 2022-23 season. While that is still the likely outcome, he has not fully made up his mind yet, meaning retirement may still be a slight possibility for the five-time Selke Trophy winner.
“Patrice should be the one to make that statement if he decides to,” Sweeney said. “He’s made real good indications to us that he’s trying to do it in the right manner, but until he makes a decision, we’ll wait.”
Sweeney did go on to mention that a final decision could come as soon as Wednesday, though that is by no means a guarantee. Though he would technically become a free agent on Wednesday, it is believed that his only two options are either a return to the Bruins or retirement. Expect to hear more on this in the very near future.
Bruins Draft Six Prospects
The Bruins were able to add six to their prospect pool at the 2022 draft this past weekend. In this draft, they found themselves with a second-round pick, two fourth-rounders, a fifth, sixth, and seventh. With their first selection in the second round at 54th overall, they chose to take Matthew Poitras of the Guelph Storm in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). The 18-year-old forward compiled 21 goals and 50 points in his rookie OHL season. He is known for his extremely high hockey IQ, as well as his very hard work ethic, which allows him to win plenty of puck battles despite being just five-foot-eleven, 174 pounds.
The Bruins’ next selection came at 117th overall, where they chose to grab Cole Spicer from the U.S. National Development Team. The 18-year-old centerman suited up for 58 games with the U18 club, where he scored 20 goals and 39 points. Like Poitras, he isn’t the most talented player in this draft, but he’s an extremely hard worker who battles for every inch of ice each and every shift. He is committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth for the 2022-23 campaign.
After Spicer was Dans Locmelis, who the Bruins selected just two picks later at 119th. The 18-year-old Latvian played in the J20 Nationell this past season for Lulea HF, where he posted an impressive 18 goals and 34 points in 44 games. Yet again, Locmelis is a hard worker and, like Poitras and Spicer, is a centerman. It became quite clear early on that the Bruins plan at this draft was to stock their prospect cupboards with center ice talent.
For their fifth-round pick (132nd overall), the Bruins selected their first defenceman in Frederic Brunet. The 18-year-old had a solid season for Rimouski Oceanic in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) in which he scored 12 goals and 46 points in 63 contests. After being passed on in his first year of draft eligibility, he improved his offensive game and caught the eye of Bruins management. He is a long-term project but has plenty of promise.
With their second last selection in the sixth round (183rd overall), the Bruins chose Reid Dyck. The 18-year-old was the first and only goaltender taken by the Bruins and just one of twenty goaltenders overall to get selected. He is coming off of a season in which he compiled a 4.26 goals against average paired with a .884 save percentage. Despite the less than impressive numbers, he is a big body who’s known to be an explosive skater, allowing him to always be in position to make a save at any given time.
With their last pick of the 2022 draft, the Bruins selected Jackson Edward at 200th overall. The 18-year-old spent his rookie OHL season in 2021-22 with the London Knights, registering six assists in 54 games. While the totals aren’t great, he was forced to sit out the entire 2020-21 season due to the OHL’s cancellation as a result of the pandemic. Scouts believe he still has some offensive abilities while also being very mobile, so he’s a player to keep an eye on in 2022-23, as he could break out in a big way.
Looking Ahead for the Bruins
With the draft now complete, the focus for the Bruins changes to what happens with players like Bergeron and Krejci, as well as free agency. A return of both would indicate that the Bruins will indeed chase a Stanley Cup for at least one more season. If they don’t, Sweeney will have some difficult decisions to make.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Yahoo Sports, Las Vegas Chronicle, Oil On Whyte, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.