By: Ryan Duffy | Follow Me On Twitter @Rduffy26
Through Jake DeBrusk’s five-year career with the Boston Bruins, he’s faced extreme highs and lows in point production and playing time. The 25-year-old winger has shown glimpses of brilliance and potential but hasn’t been able to keep consistency as a part of his game. He has yet to surpass his point totals since his rookie campaign in the 2017-18 season, when he recorded 16 goals and 27 assists for 43 points, but he’s come close in 2018-19 (27 goals and 15 assists) and 2021-22 (25 goals and 17 Assists) with 42 points in each year respectively. Despite the inconsistency, DeBrusk has yet to reach his ceiling, and he has much more to offer this team.
Last season, Jake DeBrusk was shifted up and down the Bruins lineup before he was slotted on the top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. As soon as DeBrusk was united with Bergeron and Marchand, he began finding his rhythm and meshed well with the long-time linemates. The line combined for 17 goals and only eight goals against with just over 280 minutes playing time as a line last season. With the Bruins’ season starting right around the corner, we can expect Boston to reunite the trio once Brad Marchand returns to the lineup from surgery.
An entire season with DeBrusk alongside Bergeron and Marchand is perhaps precisely what he needs. Not only will a full season next to Marchand and Bergeron benefit DeBrusk, but he’ll also get the chance to play a whole season on the right wing. For the majority of DeBrusk’s career, he’s played on the left wing. With the depth the Bruins’ have on the left side, DeBrusk will be forced to play on the right wing full time. Until last year, DeBrusk struggled to play on the right side, and as a result, he found himself on the bottom six and scratched at times. With an entirety of a season on right wing, DeBrusk will adjust to playing on his offside wing.
DeBrusk showed much growth last season as he tallied a respectable 22 goals and 16 assists at even strength. His previous high in points at even strength came in his rookie campaign when he scored 14 goals and 20 assists. While some may argue that DeBrusk’s point totals could be attributed to playing with two elite players in Marchand and Bergeron, DeBrusk performed his role well on the top line.
With DeBrusk’s growth, Bruins fans should expect the sniper to have an increased role on the team with a new head coach behind the bench. As many know, former head coach, Bruce Cassidy, had a rocky relationship with DeBrusk. DeBrusk, in multiple instances, lost the trust of Cassidy and found himself either on the bottom-six or was a healthy scratch. With Boston hiring Jim Montgomery as their new head coach, we can expect DeBrusk to take a more prominent role on the team.
After Jake DeBrusk took the role as the top line rightwing, he received a more significant role on the Bruins. DeBrusk earned time on Boston’s special teams as he played on both the first and second powerplay units (depending on the situation) and also played on the penalty kill. While his numbers on the power play were groundbreaking, he played a vital role as the net-front presence and puck retrievals along the walls.
Regardless of fans’ opinions of DeBrusk, he is extraordinarily talented. He was able to find the old version of himself last season we saw at the beginning of his career, and he is ready to become a massive contributor to the Bruins next season.