By: Matthew Cahill | Follow Me on Twitter @MWCahill5
It’s been nearly 600 days since Peter Cehlárik last played a game for the Boston Bruins, but he’s emerged back in the news over the last two and a half weeks. After announcing in August of 2020 that he would be leaving the team to play in the Swedish Hockey League, Cehlárik also voiced his frustration with Bruins’ Head Coach Bruce Cassidy, saying how he felt he wasn’t given a fair chance to earn his spot and felt as if he was being waited on to make mistakes.
Since then, the Bruins 2013 third-round draft pick has put together a solid year of play for himself, scoring 20 goals and 40 points in 45 games for Leksands IF in Sweden, and continued to play well this month during this year’s IIHF World Championship Tournament. By doing so, Cehlárik has put himself back on the NHL radar and increased his trade value for the Bruins, who more than likely don’t have space for him in their plans.
2021 IIHF World Championship
At this year’s World Championship in Latvia, Cehlárik was Slovakia’s best player, tallying five goals and six assists for a team-leading 11 points in eight games. His six goals included a game-winner as well as one that came on the power play. Cehlárik’s play helped Slovakia to a fourth-place finish in Group Play and a playoff berth, where they would ultimately be eliminated in the first round and finish eighth in the final standings of the tournament. On top of this, to cap off a great tournament run by the 25-year-old, Cehlárik earned the honor of being named the tournament’s Best Forward.
Cehlárik’s Potential Future in the NHL
As previously mentioned, Cehlárik’s success at the 2021 Hockey World Championship has definitely put him back on the radars of teams around the NHL. With him almost certainly not being part of the Bruins’ plans, there would be multiple NHL teams open to exploring what he has to offer. Luckily for the Bruins, Cehlárik did accept the qualifying offer extended to him in the offseason before leaving for Sweden, which makes his rights as a restricted free agent theirs and also gives them a nice piece of trade bait.
A trade for Cehlárik would be a win-win for both parties involved, as the former Bruin isn’t a player that would exactly break the bank. It would be reasonable for the Bruins to expect a mid-round draft pick in exchange for the left-winger, which gives them something of value for a player they’re looking to part ways with, as well as a low-risk trade for whatever team would acquire him.
Reflecting on Cehlárik’s Time in Boston
Over the course of four seasons, Cehlárik played 40 games for the Bruins, scoring five goals and dishing six assists for 11 total points. In addition to this, he also averaged 13:03 on ice throughout his 40 games. While Cehlárik didn’t perform incredibly during his stint with the Bruins, the relationship between himself and the Bruins’ management seemed to play a big role in the number of opportunities he got to prove himself. While it is now probably too late for Cehlárik to do that in Boston, it will be interesting to see what teams could give him the opportunity to do so in the coming months of the offseason.