Lineup Logjam Could Force Some Bruins Players Out Via Trade

Image result for Peter Cehlarik Boston Bruins

(Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images)

By Mike Cratty | Follow me on Twitter @Mike_Cratty

Before I begin, I am not trying to say that I want these players to be moved, but sooner or later, they could be due to an influx of roster competition within the Bruins’ system. Three players, in particular, come to mind in this discussion.

Peter Cehlarik

Peter Cehlarik is a player that I would hate to see go, but injuries and the presence of similar wingers have hindered his progress towards an NHL roster spot to this point. The 22-year-old Slovakian winger has seen a good amount of AHL success primarily since coming over to play for the Providence Bruins for the 2016-2017 season. In 84 regular season games as a Providence Bruin, Cehlarik has tallied 31 goals and 30 assists, good for 61 points. Through 17 NHL games, Cehlarik has a goal and three assists.

His two-way ability and hockey IQ are what stick out the most in his game and could be of great value elsewhere unless a spot does open up in Boston at some point. In the NHL, he showed good chemistry with David Krejci on the second line and could serve well as a second or third line winger on another NHL team in need of help on the wing. A few NHL teams come to mind that could be in the market for Cehlarik’s services for a solid top-9 winger – The Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, and Dallas Stars. Especially the Edmonton Oilers, who need help on the wing and have a general manager in Peter Chiarelli that is familiar with Peter Cehlarik.

(Video Credit: Dafoomie via YouTube)

Austin Czarnik

Austin Czarnik is in a similar predicament as Peter Cehlarik – he has proven himself capable of playing at the NHL level but has just found other players getting in his way. One thing that Czarnik has against him that Cehlarik doesn’t is waiver eligibility. If Czarnik plays one more NHL game, he will have to go through waivers to back down to the AHL if need be, as he will have played 60 NHL games, thus making him eligible for waivers. In the 59 NHL games he has played, he has five goals, 12 assists, and 17 points.

After four years at the University of Miami (Ohio), Czarnik, now 25-years-old, has produced at a high level in the AHL. After his senior year, Czarnik played three games in Providence in which he had two assists. The following season is when he put Bruins fans on notice with 61 points in 68 games in his first full AHL season. In the 86 regular season games since his first full season, Czarnik has scored 31 goals and added 61 assists, good for 92 points and an average of just over a point-per-game. Most recently, he was named a second-team AHL All-Star.

Austin Czarnik is set to become a group-6 UFA this summer. He is categorized as a group-6 UFA due to the fact that he is 25-years-old and has yet to have played 80 NHL games yet. The Bruins could trade his rights at the draft if they feel he could be best suited elsewhere with a team that will give him an NHL job to get something in return for him. Otherwise, if they don’t sign or trade him, they would simply let him walk for nothing in free agency.

NHL teams would certainly be interested due to his experience at the NHL level and the amount of success he has achieved in the AHL. He is a speedy, skilled player who can play center and wing, general managers will like that. Like, Peter Cehlarik, Czarnik could fit well with another NHL team as a top-9 forward.

(Video Credit: Dafoomie via YouTube)

Adam McQuaid

I don’t think Adam McQuaid will be moved unless the right move comes around, but there certainly is a case for trading the long-time Bruins defender. Part of this case comes due to the fact that the Bruins have a few young defensemen that are progressing well elsewhere. Three players that come to mind are Jeremy Lauzon and Jakub Zboril in Providence and Urho Vaakanainen with SaiPa over in Finnish Elite League. Whether they are ready for NHL duty this fall or not, some, if not all of them should be ready within the next couple of years.

With a fully healthy Bruins defensive core consisting of Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, and Kevan Miller heading into next year, it is possible that Adam McQuaid becomes the seventh defender and is scratched from the lineup more often than he is used to.

Trading a guy like Adam McQuaid not could free up cap space to add a defender via trade or free agency going into next season. Noah Hanifin (trade) and Calvin de Haan (free agency) are two guys that come to mind.

There is also the option to trade Adam McQuaid closer to the trade deadline. This could allow the Bruins brass more time to make a decision on whether to make space on the NHL roster for a young defender. McQuaid is set to become a UFA following the 2018-2019 season, he could be an appealing rental piece come deadline time. Possibly for a team in need of some depth on defense, playoff experience, to help offset the loss of an injured defender, or a combination of the three. Adam McQuaid has 68 games of playoff experience, two Stanley Cup Final appearances, and Stanley Cup ring under his belt.

Here’s Adam McQuaid finishing a nice pass from Peter Cehlarik for Cehlarik’s first NHL point.

(Video Credit: Dafoomie via YouTube)

Whether these players will be moved has obviously yet to be seen, but there are legitimate cases for all of them as trade candidates.

 

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