The Boston Bruins are in the market for an established puck-moving defenseman. GM Don Sweeney tried to land one during the first round of Friday night’s draft, but the prices were steep.
Several reports had the Bruins linked to Blues blueliner Kevin Shattenkirk, who still hasn’t been traded. There’s a chance the Bruins could still land Shattenkirk (or someone else), but they aren’t willing to sacrifice a youngster like David Pastrnak in the process.
“In all honesty it would have taken both first rounders and then some…the acquisition cost was high,” said Sweeney, per CSN New England. “We want to continue to improve our hockey club with whatever we have to do, but it’s not unlike last year when it would have taken all three first rounders [to get a deal done]. There’s a balancing act there.
“We’ve taken a position where we’re going to build this the right way. We want to be competitive and improve our team, and we’ll be active in the free agent market to fill holes while allowing our young players to push through. But I wasn’t trading David Pastrnak. We’ve been criticized, and rightfully so at times, for being impatient with our younger, skilled players. This represents a good opportunity that we don’t want to do that.”
After dealing Dougie Hamilton to Calgary last year, it’s no surprise that Sweeney is a lot more cautious about shipping young assets out of town.
Not only did the Bruins keep Pastrnak, they also kept their two first round picks in 2016. They selected Boston University defenseman Charlie McAvoy 14th overall and center Trent Frederic 29th overall.