Jake Debrusk and Erik Houla are proving their top-6 worth post-deadline


The Front Office showed their commitment to Debrisk and Houla as part of a growing team’s top six drawn to a playoff run.

The Bruins released winger Erik Houla. AP

On March 19, Greeley Tribune Bruins general manager Don Sweeney made another major move on the trade deadline: acquiring defenseman Hemps Lindholm from the Anaheim Ducks.

With question marks over the center position of the second line and Jake Debrusk’s excellent trade request, the Bruins appeared ready for a busy day, which ended in the 3 p.m. deadline of March 21.

In a media availability the day after Lindholm was acquired, Sweeney said, “The call has certainly been raised in the last day.” “Definitely going in today and tomorrow” [it] Will be a little more frantic. ,

Sweeney’s latest deadline making activity was four months.

Word leaked after one season and inconsistent games on November 29 at Debreux’s trade request. He had fallen on the depth charts and even became a healthy scratch on a few occasions, especially after the Bruins acquired Taylor Hall on last year’s deadline.

DeBrusk, who had already been named in several trade rumors over the past year, was once again thrust into trade speculation until the waning moments of the 2022 trading deadline.

“I don’t think Jake has changed his opinion, but that doesn’t mean it happens,” Sweeney said of Debrisk. “Jake is helping our team, so I would definitely just put it in the fact that it would be there to help our team.”

Another interesting development occurred in the few months between Debrisk’s trade request and deadline. Debrisk found himself in a top-line role alongside the powerful duo of Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.

Debrisk has rediscovered his game since his promotion. Debrisk has returned to form from his first two seasons at Greeley Tribune, scoring 14 of his 21 goals in the last 22 appearances.

Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said, “I just see that his overall engagement in every area of ​​the game lately has been fantastic, when we use him defensively on penalty kills and obviously 5- Scoring on-5.”

Debrisk signed a two-year extension worth $8 million on the day of the deadline, fueling speculation he would be part of a rare ‘sign-and-trade’ in the NHL. Despite the extension and the frantic deadline, Debris remained a member of the Bruins,

Like Debreux, Eric Houla’s role also remained unchanged after the deadline.

Houla was not directly involved in any trade rumours. But the Bruins entered this year’s deadline hoping to secure the center of the second row left by David Krejci at the end.

Whether it was JT Miller, Philippe Forsberg, Max Domi, or Claude Giroux, the Bruins found themselves attached to every major top-six hub in the trading market leading up to the time frame.

After signing with the Bruins in the off-season, with only one goal and four assists in his first 25 games of the season, Houla struggled to build on his bottom-six role.

After the second line moved to Center Hall and David Pasternak in the second row, production of the houla increased significantly. The Bruins now have Krejci in place for at least this season, with Houla scoring 12 goals and 20 assists in 42 games since January 1.

Standing in front, Sweeney and the front office showed their commitment to Debrisk and Houla, as part of a growing team’s top-six with an aging core ready for a playoff run.

“Obviously, we’d probably love to add a little more depth” [at forward]But a lot of our guys have really stepped up and played well,” Sweeney said after the deadline. “We think we’re in a good spot with our hockey club.”

Since the trade deadline, Sweeney’s confidence in the current group has waned thanks to the continued improved production of Debrisk (8GP, 6G 2A) and Houla (8GP, 5G 6A).

“It’s nice when you know this is our team,” Houla said of his post-deadline mentality. “It’s out of my control eventually, and now just put your foot on the gas and try something special.”

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