By: Nathan Anderson | Follow me on Twitter @nathandrsn
Jack Studnicka had been at the center of many trade talks swirling around on Twitter for a while. However, after the young forward’s rough performance against the Anaheim Ducks, folks were extremely quick to call for his departure from the Bruins’ roster.
Some said to send him back to Providence, some said to waive him, and some became hopeful the Bruins might use him as a sweetener in a trade to free up cap space involving someone like Craig Smith. But, regardless of the method, the message was clear: the fans wanted Studnicka gone.
Well, Don Sweeney and the Bruins listened, but I’m here to raise the possibility that the Bruins and some fans gave up on Studnicka prematurely. Before you start shouting at me, I’d like to acknowledge that I agree he played terribly against Anaheim. I also agree his overall performance at the NHL level has not been entirely promising thus far. He had some decent moments that showed small glimmers of why the Bruins selected him in 2017, but his overall contribution left much to be desired.
I also want to give a fair warning that this will not be an article with stats and projections trying to prove some point. Instead, this will be a discussion about prospects and potential because, ultimately, that was Studnicka’s biggest asset – his potential.
The main issue I had with the discourse surrounding Studnicka was how people talked about him. Had you not heard of Jack Studnicka before logging into Twitter, you might have thought he was a 26, 27, or 28-year-old veteran who once was drafted highly but never lived up to his full potential and had been holding the team back for years.
Although he was drafted in 2017, Studnicka is only 23 years old. That means not only does he still have plenty of time left in his potential-NHL career; he still has a few years left before he even begins what is usually considered the prime years of a player’s career. Especially with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci nearing the end of their careers, dealing away a prospect who could be hitting his prime as they retire seems a bit spontaneous.
Regardless of what I think, Studnicka is gone. He’ll pack his bags for Vancouver while heading our way is 23-year-old goaltender Michael DiPietro and 19-year-old Swedish defenseman Jonathan Myrenberg. I don’t know much about either player apart from a vague memory that DiPietro played on Canada’s World Junior team a few years ago.
I do think it’s a bit strange that the Bruins traded for another goaltending prospect after being pretty active in drafting in that area in recent years. As a former Canadian World Junior team starter, maybe they could flip DiPietro for another prospect or draft picks they can use to select someone in a different position. BNG Founder and CEO Mark Allred also suggested the Bruins could be looking into shipping out another minor-league goalie.
While Mark brings up the possibility of trading away Kyle Keyser, parting ways with veteran goaltender Keith Kinkaid would allow the Bruins to have three 23-year-old goalies in their top four depth-chart spots. Many teams would pay a hefty price to have that kind of young depth at arguably hockey’s most important position. Look out for an article from Mark with more details on this topic!
Studnicka certainly got his chances here in Boston, but it will still be a while before we know who won this trade. If the Bruins can stay competitive in the coming years and miss out on championship glory while Studnicka becomes a solid player for the Canucks, it will be hard to defend this trade looking back. For many, though, at this moment in time, trading away Jack Studnicka is not only welcome but precisely what was wanted.