In the 2015 NHL Draft, the Boston Bruins held three straight first-round picks, from 13 to 15. With those selections, they chose defenceman Jakub Zboril, left-wing Jake DeBrusk, and right-wing Zachary Senyshyn. In the four seasons since that draft, DeBrusk is the only one of the three who has played with the NHL club on a consistent basis. While he may not be as talented as some of the other players taken that same year, he has proven to be an extremely valuable second-line forward in Beantown.
Jake DeBrusk’s Future with the Boston Bruins
His Pro Career Thus Far
In his first season as a professional, Jake Debrusk found a role with the Providence Bruins of the AHL. In 74 games, he tallied 49 points (19 goals, 30 assists) as a rookie. Those numbers would be good enough to make the NHL roster the following season. Since joining the Boston Bruins, DeBrusk has been a strong second line wing, playing with David Krejci. He has recorded two 40 point seasons and is on pace to hit the 50 point mark for the first time in his career.
DeBrusk has shown he is capable of not only being a passer, but he is a proven scorer as well. In his first season of NHL action, he tallied 16 goals and 27 assists. His second year saw a flip where he scored the bulk of his points. He would put together a 27 goal campaign with 15 assists. In 48 games played this year, he has a more even split with 17 goals and 15 assists. In his three seasons at the highest level of play, he has been a very capable top-six player for Boston and should be included in the franchise’s long term plans.
How Does Boston’s Offence Operate?
Jake DeBrusk has tremendous value for the Boston Bruins. This year, Boston has heavily relied on its top-line forwards to produce the bulk of the offence. Secondary scoring has been at a premium. Of the 463 points scored this season, 185 of them are coming from the Perfection Line of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Brad Marchand. DeBrusk ranks sixth on the team in total offensive output and fourth in total goals. He is arguably their second-best young player behind Pastrnak and is most surely their best from the 2015 draft class.
The Young Forwards
If we look ahead to the future of this team, DeBrusk is a key cog for the offence. Boston has six forwards under the age of 24 who the team hopes to further develop so that they can be the driving force of the offence when the current leaders retire or move on to other franchises. When Brad Marchand’s days in Boston eventually come to an end, DeBrusk looks to be the next man up. The problem comes with Boston’s salary cap situation. They are right up against the wall with very little room to maneuver.
Re-signing Jake DeBrusk
DeBrusk is coming to the end of his entry-level contract and is in line for a sizable payday. With the numbers he has been able to put up over the last three seasons, he could wind up with a contract anywhere in the three to five million dollar range. My guess is Boston could end up offering him a bridge deal. With so many large contracts to play with, general manager Don Sweeney will have to get creative to get DeBrusk signed. If they offer him a smaller amount now on a short term deal, he could be in line for a much more lucrative deal when David Krejci’s contract expires.
While the window is closing on another championship for the ageing veterans in Boston, young stars like DeBrusk are not only extending that window for them but building a new window for themselves. The veteran players in Boston have provided an extremely positive leadership role to this new core of young players. The championship experience from Patrice Bergeron and Zdeno Chara has mentored players like Jake Debrusk and taught them what it means to be a winner, and more importantly, a Boston Bruin.