Bruins

Bruins Notebook: Jake DeBrusk embracing challenge of adding more bite to his game; no update on Chara’s future

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For as fruitful as his stat line has often been up in the NHL ranks, Jake DeBrusk rarely assesses his game without a critical lens.

Even with the cold spells on the stat sheet that have often plagued him over his first three seasons in the NHL, DeBrusk has routinely lit the lamp so far in his young career — averaging 20 tallies per season and 62 total goals over 203 career games. Boston's selections during that fateful 2015 NHL Draft continues to draw the ire of fans to this day, but DeBrusk actually ranks 11th in that stacked draft class in total goals since the start of the 2015-16 campaign.

(The names in front of him include higher selections in the draft such as Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, Mikko Rantanen, Mitch Marner and Timo Meier.)

Had it not been for injuries in 2018-19 (68 total games), DeBrusk (27 goals) had a great chance of becoming just 12th Bruin under the age of 23 to tally 30+ goals in season. Posting his second straight 20-goal campaign was also well within reach in 2019-20 before COVID-19 halted play back in March (he finished with 19 goals in 65 games).

With another year of experience under his belt and a stronger supporting cast up front, there's no reason to doubt that the newly-signed DeBrusk is poised to rack up even more goals — and memorable cellys — over the next two seasons. With his speed, strong shot and propensity to bring the puck down to the opposing goalie's doorstep, 30 goals is an attainable benchmark for the 24-year-old forward.

But DeBrusk wants to be more than just a one-trick pony in Boston's top-six unit. Speaking via Zoom on Tuesday afternoon, a candid DeBrusk expressed that he has more to give to this Bruins team moving forward, and plans on expanding his game beyond what has traditionally been the scouting report on the streaky sniper.