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Friday, December 02, 2022

2022 NHL trade deadline: Five Blackhawks players Bruins could target

2022 NHL trade deadline: Five Blackhawks players Bruins could target originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

This is the time of year when contenders such as the Boston Bruins send scouts to different games across the NHL to watch the trade deadline sellers and determine which players are worth pursuing.

The Bruins will get a firsthand look at one of the expected sellers Thursday night when they host the Chicago Blackhawks at TD Garden.

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Chicago has been one of the league’s most disappointing teams with the third-worst record in the Western Conference. The new general manager, Kyle Davidson, even admitted that a rebuild is coming up.

Which players on the Blackhawks roster should the Bruins consider targeting before the March 21 trade deadline? Here’s a list of five.

Position: Center

Contract: RFA in 2022

Strom is an intriguing player with impressive offensive skill and good size (6-foot-3 and 200 pounds). He’s always shown plenty of potential but has never proven to be a consistent point producer. The former No. 3 The overall draft pick has picked up his play late, though, scoring nine points (six goals, three assists) over his last four games. Strom has 30 points (15 goals, 15 assists) in 45 games overall.

He had a hat trick against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.

Strom doesn’t solve the Bruins’ No. 2 center issues, and he’s not better than Boston’s third-line center Charlie Coyle. If Strom moved to left wing, that would give the B’s another goal scorer and a physical presence on the third or fourth lines. He’s much better offensively than Nick Foligno or Trent Frederic.

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Strom is the kind of player worth gambling on, especially if the cost is merely a draft pick.

USA TODAY Sports

Position: Left wing

Contract: RFA in 2025, $1.5 million salary cap hit

Hagel has taken an impressive step forward in his game, tallying a career-high 33 points (18 goals, 15 assists) in 52 games. He posted 24 points in 52 games all of last season. He can play both wing spots and is just 25 years old.

Perhaps the best part about Hagel as a trade target is his contract. He’s signed to a super-low $1.5 million average annual salary through the 2024-25 season. If Hagel continues to improve at his current pace (or better) this contract would be one of the best values ​​in the league.

TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Tuesday night that there’s “a ton of interest” in Hagel, but he also noted “If (Hagel) gets moved it’s going to be for a first-round draft pick and something else. That’s how important he is.”

Position: Left wing

Contract: RFA in 2022

The Bruins need more scoring depth on the wings, and that will be an even larger issue if Jake DeBrusk’s trade request is granted and he’s moved before March 21. Kubalik has tallied 21 points (11 goals, 10 assists) in 58 games. His goals per 60 minutes have decreased in each of the last two years since he tallied a career-high 30 goals in 2019-20. It’s possible that a change of scenery, the excitement of a playoff push and the motivation of playing for a new contract could spark a turnaround for Kubalik.

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Position: Defenseman

Contract: UFA in 2022

De Haan would be an excellent upgrade on the blue line. He’s the quintessential trade deadline defenseman given his experience, reliable play at both ends, willingness to block shots and ability to log around 20 minutes per game against quality competition. De Haan’s 134 blocked shots are the second-most in the league, and his 1:45 of penalty kill ice time per game ranks third on the team.

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Another positive for de Haan is he plays the left side of the blue line, which is an area the Bruins need to bolster before the playoffs. Coyotes star Jakob Chychrun would be the ideal top-four defenseman upgrade for Boston, but if general manager Don Sweeney doesn’t want to pay premium assets for that kind of player, then de Haan would be a solid depth addition.

Ryan Carpenter

Position: Center

Contract: UFA in 2022

Carpenter would likely be a rental given his UFA status, but he would give the Bruins more depth at center, another reliable penalty killer and someone who plays a heavy, physical style of hockey. He has posted 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 54 games, while playing 2:11 of penalty kill time (second-most among Chicago forwards) per game.

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