As the Bruins continue to work their way up in the Atlantic Division, they’re looking to add a top-six center or a top-four defenseman, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on an NHL Network appearance (video link). However, they are telling teams that they are unwilling to move their top prospects in any deal. That will take away several of their top trade chips although they could conceivably still move future draft picks to get a deal done. Given GM Don Sweeney’s patience for building the team up slowly but steadily though, it be may be more prudent to expect a smaller deal, similar to their acquisition of Drew Stafford at the deadline last year, over a bigger one.
More from the Atlantic:
- The Sabres will speak to top prospect Casey Mittelstadt following his college season to see if it’s the right time for him to turn pro and sign his entry-level deal, notes John Wawrow of the Associated Press. The 2017 eighth overall pick is coming off a stellar World Junior tournament that saw him tie for the overall lead in scoring and has some wondering if he may be NHL ready sooner than later. While they will meet in the coming months, GM Jason Botterill suggested to Wawrow that it may be a while yet before he finds himself lining up alongside Jack Eichel, perhaps a sign that he would like to see Mittelstadt wait a little longer before signing.
- Still with Buffalo, head coach Phil Housley told Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald that center Jacob Josefson has been listed as day-to-day with a lower-body issue. The injury was sustained while blocking a shot on Tuesday night against the Jets. The 26-year-old hasn’t thrived in his first season with the Sabres, collecting just four points in 19 games while spending considerable time out of the lineup due to ankle issues.
- Maple Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev is still another two-to-three weeks away from returning, reports TSN’s Darren Dreger (Twitter link). That puts him a little behind his last projected return date which was January 16th, their first game back following their bye week. Zaitsev quietly leads all Toronto blueliners in ice time per game, averaging just under 23 minutes per night and will give them a big boost once he gets the green light to return.