(Photo Credit: Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

By: Tom Calautti | Follow me on Twitter @TCalauttis

With no picks in the first three rounds of the 2024 NHL Draft, it’s no secret that General Manager Don Sweeney and the rest of Bruins Management would be interested in any opportunity to recoup some draft capital. Over the past decade, opportunities to trade assets for picks have been scarce for Boston due to the team’s ability to contend and push their way into the playoffs. But as the 2024 offseason begins to unfold, all that may change.

According to a recent report from NHL.com, the New Jersey Devils are open to trading the number ten overall pick in the 2024 NHL Draft. This scenario should be incredibly enticing for the Boston Bruins because they have a surplus of what New Jersey needs most: Goaltending.

After finishing second in the Metropolitan Division and earning a berth in the 2022-23 conference semifinals, New Jersey fell flat on its face this season, registering only 81 points and finishing the year as the fourth-worst team in the conference. Several factors caused the disappointment this season (including injuries to Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes), but goaltending was the main reason the Devils fell flat.

Of the 32 teams, New Jersey was tied for fourth in both goals against (281) and goals allowed per game (3.43). The Devils had the third-worst team save percentage (88.57) in the league, and none of their goaltenders had a save percentage above .900 or a goals-against average below 3.15.

That is where the Boston Bruins and Linus Ullmark come in. It’s no secret that the Bruins brass have been trying to trade the former Vezina winner since the trade deadline, and some reports have even indicated that New Jersey was one of the teams interested in Ullmark.

Ullmark would be an immediate and significant upgrade to New Jersey’s goalie room. Even though he wasn’t able to match his award-winning numbers of 2022-23, the Swedish netminder was able to put up a solid season. He was a top-ten in save percentage (.915) and goals saved above expected (14.8), and was top 15 in goals-against average (2.57).

The big question in a hypothetical scenario like this is what the Bruins could expect in return. I’ve already covered Linus Ullmark’s value based on previous trades in an article published last week, and the tenth overall pick in this year’s draft would almost HAVE to be included to get this deal done. Assuming Ullmark waives his no-movement clause (which is a BIG if), Boston would almost certainly acquire New Jersey’s first-round pick.

The question then becomes who would the Boston Bruins select with the tenth overall pick. The only consensus pick in the 2024 NHL Draft seems to be Boston University’s Macklin Celebrini (32-32-64 as a freshman), so projecting exactly who the Bruins could target would be difficult. That being said, here are some prospects to keep an eye on IF this trade were to go through:

Konsta Helenius

Age: 18

Position: Center

League: Finnish Elite League

Stats: 14-22-36 in 51 Games

McKeen’s, FLOHOCKEY, and EliteProspects had Helenius between their 11th and 13th-ranked prospects. The 5’11 center scored respectable numbers despite playing against full-grown men in the Finnish Elite League. He’s the type of responsible, two-way center the Bruins organization loves, and he would fill their biggest area of need.

Berkly Catton

Age: 18

Position: Center

League: WHL

Stats: 54-62-116 in 68 Games

This pick would be a bit of a reach as my ‘big three’ draft sites have him going between five and eight, but if there’s a chance he slips, Boston should absolutely take a chance on him. His quickness and agility allow him to put defenses on their heels, and his offensive skills are evident, given his 54 goals in 68 games. Bob McKenzie describes him as ‘elite’ offensively, just the kind of spark plug the Bruins need in their forward group.

Cole Eiserman

Age: 18

Position: Center

League: US U18 NTDP

Stats: 58-31-89 in 57 Games

If you’re looking for a pure ‘tee it up and score’ player in this draft, Eiserman is probably your guy. He has an electric shot and could be somebody whose ability to fire the puck allows him to score all over the offensive zone. He’s projected to go somewhere in the early to mid-teens.

Other names to keep an eye on are: