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Bruins Deal Linus Ullmark to Ottawa for Mark Kastelic, Joonas Korpisalo, and a 2024 First-Round Pick

(Photo Credit: China Wong/NHLI via Getty Images)

By: Jason Cooke | Follow me on Twitter / X @cookejournalism

Linus Ullmark is an Ottawa Senator. Less than an hour before puck drop of Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals, Don Sweeney and the Boston Bruins cracked the hockey airwaves with perhaps their most significant offseason decision this summer.

Ullmark, who was swirling around trade rumors dating back to the trade deadline, has been dealt in exchange for forward Mark Kastelic, goaltender Joonas Korpisalo, and the 25th pick in the 2024 draft. The Bruins now have roughly $24 million in cap space, as the Senators retain 25% of Korpisalo’s $4 million contract.

The most glaring aspect of the move is the Bruins now possess a first-round pick in the upcoming draft, an asset they haven’t had since 2021. Now, Boston has the opportunity to inject a talented, high upside prospect into their organization. This is a luxury they haven’t been used to.

Kastelic is a 6’4″ bottom-six forward who posted 5-5-10 with Ottawa this season in 63 games. The hefty, 226-pound grinder would likely slot in a Boston fourth line that is largely undetermined for the 2024-25 season with James van Riemsdyk and Pat Maroon lingering as unrestricted free agents. He isn’t flashy, but he’s a physical and tenacious addition to Boston’s depth—something Sweeney and the Bruins have been searching for.

In what is the biggest surprise of the deal, the Bruins are hauling in another goaltender just hours after the announcement of extending Brandon Bussi to a one-year, two-way extension. Bussi, who posted a 2.67 goals against average in 41 games with the Providence Bruins this season, was expected to back up Jeremy Swayman if Boston were to part ways with Ullmark.

30-year-old Korpisalo suited up for 55 games last season, sporting a 3.27 goals against average and a .890 save percentage. The veteran netminder has played nine seasons between the Senators, Los Angeles Kings, and the Columbus Blue Jackets, struggling to find his footing as an every day National Hockey League starter. I would still expect Bussi to take the reigns behind Swayman when the 2024-25 Bruins hit the ice.

When it’s all said and done, the transaction is a solid return for Ullmark, who had one year remaining on his $5 million contract. With Swayman stealing the spotlight in a dominant postseason run and proving his NHL mettle, the 25-year-old is the goalie of the future for Sweeney and the B’s. Keeping Ullmark for one more season would not only hinder Swayman’s ability to develop to a full-time starter, it would take up unnecessary cap space in one of Boston’s most anticipated offseasons in recent history.

1 Comment

  1. Russell Allen

    Not sure why this was all done before Swayman was signed. Sweeney must be very confident that he will sign. As far as Kastelic is concerned, I think he is what we need in a depth forward. Big and tough. Reminds me a bit of Shawn Thorton.

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