By: Cam Manning | Follow me on Twitter @Cam_Manning133
With the Boston Bruins continuing to rack up wins and sitting pretty with the best record in the league at 36-5-4, it’s hard to explain the historic run this team is on. That being said, there is always room for improvement on the roster and overall team play, even with this 2022-2023 Boston Bruins team. We are 41 days away from the March 3rd NHL Trading Deadline, and the Bruins are clearly buyers this year. The Bruins roster has few holes to it, but depth come playoff time is undoubtedly a must, and I believe that Don Sweeney won’t stand pat at the deadline. Sweeney will look to add at this year’s deadline, and one name that should be on the Bruins’ radar is Vancouver Canucks defenseman Luke Schenn.
The 2008 fifth-overall selection by the Toronto Maple Leafs has been a bright spot on what has been a down year for Jim Rutherford’s Vancouver Canucks. Now I know Schenn isn’t a sexy name when it comes to the league’s elite defenseman in the league, but he would be a perfect fit for this Bruins team. Schenn numbers don’t jump off the stat sheet regarding offensive production (two goals and twelve assists) in 44 games played this season.
However, what Schenn lacks offensively, he makes up for with his defense and physicality. Schenn currently leads the league with 209 hits, and despite the Vancouver Canucks having a -27 goal differential as a team, Schenn is a +4 this season. Not only does Schenn add physicality, but he also adds valuable playoff experience. Schenn is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion with the Tampa Bay Lightning and has 31 playoff games under his belt.
The Bruins have been rumored to have been in contact with the Canucks about Schenn’s services, according to the Athletic’s NHL writer Pierre LeBrun:
“It’s my understanding that the Bruins have already had a chat with Vancouver about him, although this is the time of year when contenders are calling a lot of teams to explore what’s out there and potential prices. Still …” -Pierre LeBrun of the Athletic
Schenn can play in almost any defensive situation he is thrown into, including the penalty kill. Schenn is third on the Canucks with an average of 1:50 of penalty kill time per game. Not to mention the injury history of Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo and Matt Grzelcyk’s inconsistent play during the postseason has to be something the Bruins consider going into the trade deadline. Yes, this defensive core has held up so far this regular season with prominent career years from the likes of Connor Clifton and Derek Forbort, but the Bruins could always add size and experience, and that’s what you get with Schenn.
Regarding what the Bruins would have to give up for Schenn’s services, he should be acquired at a reasonable price. The Bruins would not have to give up a lot of draft capital or even valuable prospects to acquire Schenn. Schenn (33) has had a solid defensive year, but his offensive game doesn’t warrant the Bruins to give up a high draft pick or prospect. However, you still need to give up something to get something in trade talks, so it will be interesting to see what the Bruins potentially do to add to their roster in any capacity this season.
Still, Luke Schenn is a hard-nosed physical depth piece that would be valuable to the Bruins come playoff time. He could quickly become a fan favorite if he keeps up his solid play this season if acquired by the Bruins just for his level of physicality, which certainly helps when you play skillful heavier, hitting teams come playoff time. Schenn’s cap also should make the Bruins confident to acquire him. Schenn is only under contract for $850,000 and is a pending UFA after this season.
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