In case you missed it, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney was recently spotted scouting a Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames game at Edmonton’s Rogers Place recently, sparking plenty of trade speculation from fans and analysts.
Sweeney has made it no secret that he’s looking to improve his team, likely with an impact forward, but he’s been slow to make a move so far this season. One player who could be in Sweeney’s sights however, according to a report from Matt Porter of The Boston Globe, is 25 year old Oilers centre Ryan Nugent Hopkins.
The former 1st overall selection of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft looks set to establish career highs in goals and points this season with eight goals and 26 points through 30 games already this season. His career high is just 24 goals and 56 points, established four seasons ago. Now in his mid twenties, RNH finally seems to be fulfilling some of the promise that he showed when he was a teenager. Could Sweeney swoop in and pick Nugent Hopkins off the vine just as he ripens? Potentially… theoretically… but of course it all comes down to the asking price.
What would it cost the Bruins to nab Nugent-Hopkins? Porter reports that Bruins blue liner Torey Krug could be a fit… but would Sweeney be willing to move his top scoring defenseman?
Check out these quotes from Porter’s latest column for The Globe:
If Sweeney and old pal Peter Chiarelli want to go blockbuster, why not explore a deal involving Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Torey Krug? Sure, NHL GMs rarely trade high-profile players with term. But as noted above, these rosters have issues. In making a swap, they could address them and maximize return on two sizable assets.
Krug was of interest to the Oilers last summer. He might look more appealing now. After a pair of goals and three assists over the weekend, he climbed to T-19 in defenseman scoring (2-15—17). Krug, just 19 games (five weeks) into his season, seems to have shaken any rust from his offseason (and preseason) ankle injuries.
If a one for one trade isn’t enough to swing Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli… how about adding?
Again from Porter:
He would be a hefty piece to surrender, and the Oilers would need a replacement in the top six. The Bruins could sweeten things with a forward prospect. Jake DeBrusk and Anders Bjork have two years on their entry-level deals. Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Ryan Donato, and Danton Heinen go RFA after this season.
The top choice would likely be DeBrusk, with 10 goals so far. The Edmonton native would look great flying around with McDavid. The Bruins wouldn’t part with him easily. He is one of their hardest-working forwards, has plenty of jump and jam, and they have him for two more years at short money.
I can’t imagine the Bruins giving up Krug AND DeBrusk in a straight swap for Nugent-Hopkins… but then again, desperate times call for desperate measures. If the Bruins can’t find some consistency in this next month, Sweeney may be forced to make such a drastic move.