( Photo Credit: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images North America )

By: Kevin O’Keefe | Follow me on Twitter @Kevin_OKeefe89

The season is still young, but one glaring need has reared its ugly head consistently to this point. The need for a defenseman who can help stabilize the top-four has been a thorn in the side of Boston for years now. After parting ways with defensemen Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara, the left side of the defense has been thin. Bruins’ general manager, Don Sweeney, brought in Mike Reilly and Derek Forbort to complete the puzzle, but early in the season, this is proving to not be enough to contend for a Stanley Cup. Sweeney must make a move, and here are some options he could explore. 

Hampus Lindholm

Lindholm would be the perfect fit for the Bruins. He’s still young at 27-years-old and has some decent size standing at 6’4 216-pounds. So far this season for the Ducks, he has scored one goal with four assists in 15 games- played. He’s a left-shot and a top pairing guy who would fit perfectly with McAvoy. He plays a solid two-way game and, while not overly physical, does have a gritty side to his game and can’t be easily muscled off the puck. The downside is that he’s on the last year of his contract and would be considered a rental if a contract couldn’t be worked out. 

Jakob Chychrun

Chychrun is more of the grand slam pick-up if Sweeney could pull it off. This young two-way left-shot defenseman would check every box for the Bruins. At 23-years-old, Chychrun has already proven himself to be an elite-caliber defenseman who is physical and effective at both ends of the ice. He has a great shot, and his ability to move the puck stands out. He’s able to create panic within opponents with his ability to create pressure and force turnovers. 

Chychrun is currently in the middle of a six-year contract with a cap hit of $4.6 million. So far this season for Arizona, he’s only been able to post a single assist in 13 games. Hopefully, making the jump to a more competitive team and playing with a guy like McAvoy would allow him to break out of this slump. The downside here is the number of assets it would take to pull this deal off. If Sweeney could get this deal done, Bruins fans would be cheering in the streets. 

Cam Fowler

Another Duck for the list here in Cam Fowler but is a top-four defenseman who could help the Bruins when it comes to getting more offense out of your blue line. Being a left-shot, you could pair him with either Carlo or McAvoy. Carlo would be the better guy to pair him with as this would allow Fowler to do his magic in the offensive zone, while Carlo is able to clean up things on the defensive side. 

Fowler would also be a powerful addition to the power play to be that quarterback Krug once was for the first unit. At 29-years-old, Fowler still has a lot of games left in his career based on the style he plays. He currently has a cap hit of $6.5-million and has four years left after this season. The downside to Fowler is that his defensive game could use more work, and it may be costly to acquire him if Anaheim is even willing to move him.

Brayden McNabb

McNabb is the type of player who can easily play 20 plus minutes per night and give you a steady dominant defensive presence. When it comes to affordable options, McNabb is the best one. He plays best with an offensive-minded defenseman which allows him to focus more on the defensive side of the game. This is the type of player that would work very well next to McAvoy, who wants to contribute more on the scoresheet. 

At 30-years-old, McNabb still has plenty of physical hockey left in him. Physicality and size are something this team could benefit from, especially in the playoffs. He’s currently in the final year of his contract and has a cap hit of $2.5- million. The only downside here is that Vegas may not be looking to move him as they are trying to win a cup. If Vegas can’t get their season on track, Sweeney would be wise to check on his availability.