A few days ago, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney sounded prepared to move the 18th overall pick in this month’s NHL Draft.
Now, there are rumblings out of Boston that the Bruins and Minnesota Wild may be discussing a trade.
One of the areas of his team Sweeney would like to improve is — surprise, surprise — on the blue line. A few weeks ago, he openly shared that he’d like to bring in a top-four puck-moving defenseman.
One name being floated out there as a possible fit is Minnesota’s Jonas Brodin, a left-shooting defender who turns 24 years old in July and has four more years remaining on his six-year, $25 million contract.
One hockey source indicated to CSNNE there should be attention paid to the ongoing trade discussions between the Bruins and Wild for a couple of reasons. Those talks first started leading up to this past season’s trade deadline. The 23-year-old Brodin Is a left-shot D-man with cost certainty signed for four more years at $4.166 million and has been a top-four defenseman for the Wild since breaking into the league as a teenager. The 6-foot-1, 194-pound Brodin is coming off a career-high 25 points, while also averaging a career-low 19:34 of ice time, and has settled in as a solid, two-way D-man who’s never going to dazzle anybody with his workmanlike skill set.
What adds further intrigue is that, while Sweeney sounded open to the idea of trading a first-round pick, the Wild currently don’t have a selection in each of the first two rounds this year. Minnesota dealt its 2017 first-round pick to the Coyotes as part of the Martin Hanzal deal — a move Wild owner Craig Leopold eventually came to regret.
The salary cap is also a factor, especially if it remains at $73 million.
The Wild also have about $61.5 million committed to 15 players for next season, and that’s without pending restricted free agents Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter — in line for raises after respective career seasons — under contract for next year. The idea of a Wild trade — perhaps involving a defenseman — has certainly been out there for a while.