( Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports )

By: Joe Travia | Follow me on Twitter @NHLJoeTravia

It’s safe to say that this will be a very interesting off-season for the Boston Bruins. After a disappointing first-round exit to the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round, the Bruins need to reshape the roster a bit if they want to compete with the league’s best. With guys like Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Jeremy Swayman, Charlie McAvoy, and Hampus Lindholm (hopefully Patrice Bergeron as well) in the fold, the Bruins still have the necessary building blocks to return to serious contender status.

With minimal cap space to make additions via free agency, Don Sweeney (or whoever the GM is) will need to get creative in the trade market. So, what might some of the top likely-to-be available players cost via trade? Since history is our greatest teacher, I identified four possible players the Bruins could target via trade and constructed reasonable proposals based on similar deals made in the past:

Mark Scheifele

( Photo Credit: Mark Zaleski / AP )

Comparable trade: Pierre-Luc Dubois and a third-round pick to Winnipeg for Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic

Reasonable offer from Bruins: Jake DeBrusk, Mason Lohrei, Jack Studnicka, 4th round pick in 2022 entry draft

This comparison isn’t perfect, but there have not been a ton of offseason trades the past few years for players of Mark Scheifele’s caliber. Obviously, the Bruins don’t have a player of Patrik Laine’s caliber that they would ever offer in return, so this deal would need to be modified to add two prospects. Jake DeBrusk is a good starting point for this type of deal. He’s a proven 20-25 goal guy and will only be 26 years old at the start of next season.

Mason Lohrei is the top Bruins defense prospect and would be an excellent addition to the rebuilding Jets organization. Jack Studnicka is a guy that could probably use a fresh start. He has been a bit of a disappointment as a former second-round pick. However, he has been productive in the AHL, so maybe the Jets would still believe in his potential.

It should be noted that the questions surrounding Mark Scheifele’s fit in Boston are valid. There have long been rumblings that he is not the greatest guy in the locker room, and his defensive game is poor. Scheifele is a top-flight offensive talent, however, so the hope would be that the Bruins system/culture could help transform him as a player and teammate. He is signed for the next two seasons at a very reasonable 6.125m AAV, which would fit nicely with the Bruins murky cap situation. Is this package enough? I’m not sure, but it is probably the best Boston would offer.

Pierre-Luc Dubois

( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

Comparable trade: Buffalo trades Sam Reinhart to the Florida Panthers for goalie prospect Devon Levi and a first-round pick

Reasonable Offer from Bruins: Defenseman prospect Mason Lohrei and a 2023 first-rounder

The parallels in this deal are strikingly similar. Reinhart was 25 years old, an RFA, and coming off a season in which he scored 40 points in 54 games (.74 ppg). Dubois is 23 years old, an RFA, and just had a season where he scored 60 points in 81 games (.74 ppg). While the Bruins are unlikely to move prized forward prospect Fabian Lysell, I could see them moving a player like Lohrei for a player of Dubois’ caliber.

While he is a good prospect, Lohrei is already 20-years-old and would be unlikely to contribute in Boston until the 2023-2024 season at the earliest with his decision to return to Ohio State for his sophomore year. The addition of a 2023 first is a lot but acquiring Dubois, who is a proven NHL talent at a young age, is a move that will pay dividends both now and in the future. The Bruins are in the process of transitioning to their next core, and you can do a lot worse than building around Swayman, McAvoy, Lindholm, Pastrnak, and Dubois.

Conor Garland

( Photo Credit: Craig Morgan / PHNX )

Comparable offer: Nashville trades Viktor Arvidsson to the Kings for a second-round pick in 2021 and a third-round pick in 2022.

Reasonable offer from Bruins: Second or third-round pick in 2022 and Center Jack Studnicka

Studnicka will probably find his way into a lot of trade proposals this summer. The former second-round pick has not proven himself to be a viable NHL option for the Bruins three seasons into his professional career. With Johnny Beecher and Georgii Merkulov in the fold and needing to be developed, it may be best for the Bruins to cut their losses with Studnicka.

Rumors of Conor Garland to Boston have persisted for two years now, would the stuck-in-neutral Canucks move him for a younger player and top three-round draft choice? I think they would have to consider it at the very least. If the Bruins were not willing to include that high of a pick, I think a deal centered around Jake DeBrusk and Conor Garland (the Bruins would likely need to add a little more) would be something that both teams would be interested in.

Dylan Strome

( Photo Credit: Chase Agnello-Dean / NHLI via Getty Images )

Comparable offer: CAR trades Jake Bean to Columbus for a 2021 Second-round pick

Reasonable offer: 2022 or 2023 second-round pick

I have long been beating the drum for the Bruins to explore the possibility of acquiring Dylan Strome. Chicago is looking at a rebuild, and Strome likely won’t be a part of it; since getting a chance to play regular NHL minutes with the Blackhawks following his trade from Arizona in 2018-2019, Strome has produced 144 points in 225 games (.64 PPG).

The former third overall pick in the 2015 Entry Draft has shown he can produce offense, but he’s not the fastest player, and questions about his effort have followed him around during his career. Does he have the defensive intensity necessary to thrive in Bruce Cassidy’s system? The fit may not be perfect, but the Bruins need an injection of youth and offensive talent at the center position, and Strome fits that bill.