( Photo Credit: Jess Starr / The Hockey Writers )

By: Nathan Anderson | Follow me on Twitter @nathandrsn

The first big move of the Bruins’ 2022 free agency has seemingly been made. According to Darren Dreger, Pavel Zacha reportedly has been traded to the Bruins from the New Jersey Devils. While there is still a lot that needs to be done, this could be a move that has big potential for the Bruins. Zacha is 6’3″, 210-pounds, and is listed primarily as a center. However, his stats indicate that he can play as more of a winger as he took less than 400 faceoffs last year.

Reports also indicate that Erik Haula will be going the other way in this trade, but it remains to be seen if it will be one for one or if other pieces are involved. I think a lot of people would have liked for the Bruins to keep Haula this season, but this may signal that the Bruins already have their center position figured out and that Zacha will play on the wing.

This move would initially give the Bruins a little bit of extra room in the salary cap once it becomes official, although Zacha is a current RFA and would need to be signed. If the rumors about Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci are true, this will give the Bruins almost $4 million in cap space to sign Bergeron, Krejci, and Zacha.

Personally, I am excited by this move. I wrote an article recently about the Bruins needing to acquire a “Nick Paul type” player. I think if this goes well, Zacha could be exactly that for the Bruins. He is a big body who could slot in on the third line on the left wing. For the last three years, he has scored over 30 points each season and has come close to 20 goals twice. This could be a great piece to help the Bruins get bigger and tougher for a potential playoff run next season.