The Boston Bruins are looking to be major buyers at this year’s trade deadline, and it is quite easy to understand why. At the time of this writing, they have a 38-6-5 record and now have “Stanley Cup or bust” expectations because of it. Therefore, they are already considering all of their options for this year’s deadline.
According to insider David Pagnotta, the Bruins were one of the many teams that had scouts present during Friday’s (Jan. 27) game between the Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs. With Toronto being right behind the Bruins in the Atlantic Division standings, it is fair to assume that they were specifically scouting players from the Senators. Let’s take a look at some Ottawa players who could very well be on their radar.
Alex DeBrincat could certainly be a player that Bruins want to get their hands on. The Senators’ big 2022 Offseason acquisition is in the final season of his contract and will be a restricted free agent (RFA) this offseason. There has been some buzz over the possibility of him being a potential trade candidate for the Senators if he does not express the desire to sign a long-term extension with them. Keep in mind, he is a year away from being eligible to become an unrestricted free agent (UFA), so that could very well lead to the Senators being open to considering the prospect of moving him in the future.
There’s no question that the Bruins could use another star winger on their roster, and DeBrincat would provide them with just that. The 25-year-old winger is having another solid season this year, as he has 16 goals to go along with 40 points in 49 contests. Yet, if he were to be moved to the Bruins, he would have the chance to play with stronger players, and that could lead to his production skyrocketing. He could add a nice jolt to the Bruins’ top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Furthermore, he also would work beautifully on their power play if acquired.
To acquire DeBrincat, the Bruins would likely need to part ways with their 2024 first-round pick, Mason Lohrei, and Trent Frederic. In this move, the Senators would be landing a potential future top-four defenseman in Lohrei, and that’s an area that certainly needs improvement. With that, Frederic has improved significantly this season and could provide their third line with a significant boost. Overall, this could be a big trade that we could see in the offseason if DeBrincat makes it known that he does not want to want to sign long-term in Ottawa.
The Bruins are going to want to boost their depth as they gear up to the playoffs. As a result, one Senator who could make a lot of sense for them is Tyler Motte. The 27-year-old is one of the Senators’ top rental candidates, as he is a solid bottom-six forward who can play all three forward positions. With that, he proved to be a solid addition to the Rangers during their playoff run last season, so he could very well be one for the Bruins this year, too.
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If the Bruins acquired Motte, he would provide them with another option for their fourth line. Truthfully, Craig Smith and A.J. Greer have had their struggles this campaign, so bringing in a player like Motte could certainly make sense. He also has been praised for his excellent defensive play and physicality, so he would work well on the Bruins’ penalty kill if acquired. At the end of the day, he would simply be a solid depth player for the Bruins as they gear up for the playoffs.
It cost the Rangers a fourth-round pick to acquire Motte last season, and that’s likely the asking price for him this campaign, too. With the Bruins going all-in, trading a mid-round pick for a quality bottom-six forward like Motte seems like a good move on paper.
Austin Watson also stands out as a possible depth option for the Bruins to consider. The veteran winger is a pending UFA, and several contenders would love to add his toughness to their group before the postseason is officially here. Although he does not offer too much offensively, his experience and immense physicality could make him a decent addition to the Bruins’ roster. The Bruins have often been criticized for being too soft to play against, and Watson could help change that ongoing narrative.
Like Motte, Watson could be a potential fourth-line option for the Bruins. However, he also could stand as a good 13th forward to have around, as he could fill in for when players like Greer and Smith go cold. Either way, Boston would be getting a little bit more toughness for the postseason, so it could be an avenue worth exploring.
With Watson being a depth forward, it would likely cost the Bruins only their 2023 sixth-round pick to bring him to Boston. Overall, this would not be too much of a price to pay for the 2010 first-round pick, so it certainly could be an avenue worth exploring.
Nevertheless, it is clear that the Bruins do have some decent options from the Senators worth considering. Acquiring DeBrincat may be more realistic during the offseason, but Motte and Watson certainly stand out as rental candidates for this season. Alas, let’s see if the Bruins and Senators end up striking a deal from here.
Michael DeRosa is a contributor who covers the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, & Detroit Red Wings for The Hockey Writers. Since 2017, he’s written and edited for numerous websites. Besides his work for THW, you can also find him on NHL Trade Rumors.