The Boston Bruins have signed Derek Forbort to a three-year contract, according to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff. The deal is expected to carry an average annual value of $3MM. The veteran defenseman completes a new-look left side of the blue line that plagued the team last season.
The Boston Bruins were disappointed to lose Jeremy Lauzon in the Expansion Draft, but have added the player most similar in ability, but with more size and experience, albeit five years older. The 29-year-old Forbort addresses the Bruins need for physicality and penalty kill ability, one that was introduced before this past season with the departure of Zdeno Chara and now further emphasized by the loss of Lauzon. The 6’4″, 220-lb. defender plays a heavy, shutdown game. Forbort is also an elite shot-blocker and capable of moving the puck and contributing modest offense.
While Forbort may seem like a typical bottom pair, stay-at-home defenseman, that hasn’t generally been the case. Forbort has played over 20 minutes per game in four of his five NHL seasons and could be looked upon for an even greater role in Boston. With Matt Grzelcyk best-suited back on the second pair with Brandon Carlo and re-signed deadline addition Mike Reilly never playing on the top pair down the stretch or in the postseason, it would seem that Charlie McAvoy still needs a running mate. Forbort could wind up filling that role, providing the defensive security that could allow McAvoy to become more active offensively. Look for Forbort and Carlo to also form a dominant duo on the team’s top penalty kill unit.