The Stars Should Trade for Jake DeBrusk

VANCOUVER, BC - DECEMBER 08: Boston Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk (74) skates up ice during their NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on December 8, 2021 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Dallas Stars are no strangers to taking advantage of the Boston Bruins. Back in 2012, the Stars traded for Tyler Seguin in one of the best trades in the organization’s history. Seguin was at odds with Boston, and the Stars took full advantage. Now, with another breakout candidate in Jake DeBrusk looking to the leave, the Stars could capitalize on more Bruins misfortune. The Stars are on a seven-game win streak, and DeBrusk can solidify Dallas’ bottom-six as they look to make a deep playoff run this season. Following his request for a trade, the Stars should trade for Jake DeBrusk.

Jake DeBrusk

The Bruins drafted DeBrusk in the first round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. The Bruins had secured the 15,16 and 17 picks in round one, taking Debrusk with the first of the three picks. Plenty of notable players were taken after the Bruins selection. As covered in my Islanders-DeBrusk trade article, Matt Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier were chosen after DeBrusk. Boston also left Brock Boeser among others on the board.

DeBrusk’s first two seasons were exciting, as he eclipsed 40 points at age 22 and 23. He fell off in his third season, and Boston began to turn him into a hit-heavy bottom-six player. To DeBrusk’s credit, he accepted the role, posting 14 points in 41 games, but was on pace to set career highs in blocked shots and hits.

DeBrusk told his teammates after the trade request that his career is at a crossroads, and he has a better chance at maximizing his potential somewhere else.

“He talked to us this morning,” teammate Taylor Hall told the media. “He just said, ‘I love you guys. This is something in my career that I’m at a crossroads.’ He’s not a distraction at all. It’s almost better that it’s out there. You have a day to kind of digest that. Jake is a great kid. He’s got a lot of skill, and he’s going to have a good career in this league,” Hall said.

Boston may be the most challenging place for young players to break out right now. Large amounts of ice time are allocated to Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pasternak, and Taylor Hall. Coach Bruce Cassidy and General Manager Don Sweeney brought in Craig Smith, Charlie Coyle, and Nick Foligno as veteran leadership. All of this pushes DeBrusk to the bottom six and limits his time on the ice. DeBrusk was once a scoring machine, but his talents are undervalued in Boston’s system.

Lineup Upgrade

DeBrusk would have somewhat of a similar situation in Dallas, but he will have a higher upside. Stars coach Rick Bowness often mixes lines around based on production. The line combinations from Daily Faceoff show Jacob Peterson playing on the second line with Jamie Benn and Alexander Radulov, while Joel Kiviranta is playing on the fourth line with Luke Glendening and Denis Gurianov. When the Stars play their next game, those lineups will be changed. Even if he gets third-line minutes, DeBrusk can solidify his spot in the lineup, something he couldn’t do in Boston.

The Stars offense will only be better with another player that can score in front of the net. Jason Robertson and Joe Pavelski earned their keep last season by crashing the net on scoring chances. DeBrusk’s scoring ability in front of the net would fit the mold. He would drastically upgrade the net presence of the third line and hopefully mimic the success of the two lines above him.

Arguably, DeBrusk can replace any wingers that Bowness has rotated through the bottom six. Jacob Peterson, Joel Kiviranta, Tanner Kero, and Riley Tufte have all struggled to gain consistent ice time. The highest scoring is Peterson, who has five points through 17 games. DeBrusk has eight points through 22 games, which doesn’t seem like much, but he would be the tenth-highest scorer in Dallas. Luke Glendening has eight points through 23 games and is on pace to set a career-high in points. Dallas’ bottom six has been producing, and Bowness isn’t picky about who is scoring the goals.

What’s His Cost?

Although he is a former first-round pick, DeBrusk won’t cost the Stars a huge return. Boston has some desperation in trading him, as he publicly stated he wants to be traded. Along with the lack of production from last season, the price won’t be too high for the Stars to match. The Stars will likely send one of their many NHL-ready prospects, along with a pick.

Kiviranta and Kero seem to be perfect fits if Boston wants a player that can be used immediately. Both players are shot-blockers who aren’t shy about dishing out hits. DeBrusk currently has that fourth-line role but isn’t fit to play such little minutes. The 25-year-old Kiviranta is the optimal choice to send to Boston of the two players.

Kiviranta has been with the Stars since 2019. He signed with the Stars after playing in Finland until the 2018-19 season. Kiviranta has tallied 100 hits through 58 games in his three-year NHL career. Packaged with a third-round pick, he should be enough to persuade Boston to make the deal.

One of the Stars’ biggest franchise trades was acquiring Tyler Seguin during the 2013 offseason. Seguin was on the wrong side of Boston’s press and was reprimanded by the Bruins management for partying too much. The Stars traded Loui Eriksson, Joesph Morrow, Reilly Smith, and Matt Frasier for Seguin, Rich Peverly, and Ryan Button. Seguin helped create a winning culture, and Eriksson had entered the twilight of his career. If Dallas can turn DeBrusk’s career around, his impact will be much similar to the fallout from Seguin’s trade.

The Verdict

The Dallas Stars will benefit from acquiring Jake DeBrusk. He is two years removed from back-to-back 40+ point seasons, and his situation in Boston isn’t the best. With the Stars, DeBrusk will have to earn his time on the ice, but he can fit Dallas’ strategy. While Boston has said they want a fair price, DeBrusk’s contract runs out at the end of the season and he is publically disgruntled with management. If Boston waits, they risk losing DeBrusk to free agency. Trading him in-season guarantees they get something in return. The Stars aren’t miracle workers, but there is hope for DeBrusk to score as he did earlier in his career.

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’FbSwoqmzRdthj1i39tjAHQ’,sig:’cGDJaSH8CQKBbU2-xetcZlC5CuMpPkr4hOL4nDld9Do=’,w:’475px’,h:’594px’,items:’1237108065′,caption: false ,tld:’com’,is360: false })});

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here