Bruins

Can Brett Ritchie emerge as a top-6 option for the Bruins?

(Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

BOLTON — Cam Neely was candid when asked about offseason needs for the Bruins back in late June — just days after Boston came up just one game short of a Stanley Cup title. 

“What do we need moving forward or next year? Yeah, well, obviously I know it’s been talked about at length about another top-six forward, so we’ll see where that ends up,” Neely said, adding: “I think our bottom six was pretty strong this year, so if we can strengthen in the immediate future our top six, you know, that’s something we’d like to try and do. We’ve talked about that for a couple years now.”

Even with David Krejci matching his career-high in points last season with 73 over 81 games, the veteran pivot was not granted much in terms of consistency with his linemates throughout the 2018-19 campaign — centering 14 different forward trios that logged at least 15 minutes of 5v5 TOI last season.

Perhaps scouring the market for a proven goal-scorer — or even dealing for an established winger like Chris Kreider — might be the move to finally put an already loaded Bruins roster over the top? 

Or not. Barring any sudden transactions struck during the preseason, it would seem as though Bruce Cassidy and the B’s are set to once again roll through a carousel of wingers to Krejci's right throughout training camp — desperately looking for the right fit to compliment their playmaking center. 

While Karson Kuhlman who generated a mind-boggling 7.00 goals for per 60 minutes rate with Krejci and Jake DeBrusk last season — might stand as the early favorite once camp opens on Thursday, Cassidy did note that one free-agent pickup could put himself at the front of the line when it comes to vying for a spot on Krejci's line.