Don Sweeney and the Bruins didn’t stand idly by at the NHL Trade Deadline, pulling the trigger on a pair of deals that shored up vacancies at third-line center and second-line wing in the form of Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson.
The cost to bring aboard both players? Ryan Donato, a 2019 second-round pick, 2019 conditional fifth-round pick and a fourth rounder in 2020.
A good haul for Boston, given the chips spent — with Sweeney and his staff adding to the B”s current roster without cashing in with one of its top assets, whether it be another first-round selection or one of the organization's promising prospects further down in the pipeline.
The youth movement has carried over into the 2018-19 season for the Bruins, with seven players on the B’s roster currently aged 25 or under — while six other skaters have recorded their NHL debuts with Boston so far this year.
But, even with youngsters like Charlie McAvoy, Jake DeBrusk and Brandon Carlo rounding into form up in the NHL ranks — there’s another crop of players that are still waiting to break through, some potentially as soon as next season.
Given some of the potential brewing down in the AHL and juniors, you could certainly see why Sweeney was hesitant to part ways with some of his top trade capital — especially in terms of the two or three most promising prospects in Boston’s system.
“Very much so,” Sweeney said of discounting trade discussions that zeroed in on Boston’s prospects. "I know that people have indicted us for moving younger players. You have to give up good players to get players that could help you win. That’s the nature of the business. We have to continue to draft and develop and hit. We just do. Have we knocked every one out of the park? Absolutely not, but we’ve accumulated enough good, young talent. We’ve implemented a lot of good, young players.
“So, I know a number of people a number of years ago asked me whether or not you’d be moving David Pastrnak. I don’t know if anybody is in the room today who was asking those questions, but I’ve told you I’m not moving David Pastrnak. I would say the same thing about Jake DeBrusk or if you want to ask me about a different player.”
Sound logic — but are the next up-and-coming players for Boston really expected to jump in and make an impact right away, a la Pastrnak and DeBrusk?
Let’s revisit a few of Boston’s top prospects with their respective seasons starting to wind down — and take a quick glance as to when we could expect to see a few of these players up at the NHL level.