Pastrnak, Hayes ‘might have to step up’ for Bruins next season

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The Boston Bruins have been looking to add to their roster, but GM Don Sweeney decided to pass on a couple of trade offers that were just too rich for his blood. The Bruins may have to resort to making a splash in free agency.

If they can’t add a big name or two when the markets open on July 1st, they’ll need some of the young players on the roster to step up. With Loui Eriksson unlikely to re-sign before next Friday, forwards like David Pastrnak and Jimmy Hayes will need to contribute more in 2016-17.

“We have internal candidates that might have to step up, and David is a player like that…Jimmy is a player like that. There’s no question we’re not a complete team right now,” said Sweeney, per CSN New England. “So we’ll go to work now, and that could be through free agency, or through potential trade stuff. It could also be about the excitement if somebody pops from the development side of things.”

Hayes finished the season with 13 goals and 29 points in 75 games, but he went point-less in the final 16 games of the year. He also had a stretch of one point in 15 games in late-November to early-December.

“I think Jimmy had a pretty start to the year, but he really tailed off when the team needed him most,” added Sweeney. “He should take some responsibility for that. We had a pretty frank discussion about that to challenge him to take his game to another level, and be able to help out a younger player.”

Pastrnak put up a career-high 15 goals despite missing 31 games in 2015-16. A foot injury forced him to miss 25 games between Nov. 3 and Dec. 27. A healthy Pastrnak would go a long way in helping Boston make it back to the postseason next year.