While Ottawa finds themselves well out of the playoff picture again, Postmedia’s Ken Warren posits that there are still a few players with a lot to play for down the stretch. One of those is defenseman Erik Brannstrom. The centerpiece of the Mark Stone trade, the 22-year-old has struggled considerably in Ottawa and has spent most of this season in the minors. Warren suggests that Jake Sanderson is likely to join the Senators following his college season which could push Brannstrom further down the depth chart to the point where the 15th pick in 2017 could soon be trying to showcase himself for other teams. Brannstrom is in his final season of waiver exemption and will be a restricted free agent this summer and if he’s made available, he could be an intriguing trade chip for GM Pierre Dorion.
More from around the East:
- With Boston off to a hot start to 2022 and nothing happening in terms of Jake DeBrusk’s trade request, head coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters including Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe that he’s not sure if the request still stands at this point. The 25-year-old has just five goals and five assists in 30 points this season and a change of scenery certainly couldn’t hurt at this point. However, with his performance not exactly boosting his value, Dupont argues that DeBrusk may be better off realizing that his best situation might be his current one, especially with the Bruins on a run at the moment.
- Penguins winger Jason Zucker is listed as a game-time decision for their game on Monday in Vegas, notes Mike DeFabo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The 30-year-old has missed nearly a month due to a lower-body injury that he was trying to play through before being shut down. He was off to a tough start before the injury with just four goals and seven assists in 30 games but he’s an intriguing addition to a Pittsburgh attack that is getting pretty close to being fully healthy.
- Sabres defenseman Jacob Bryson will miss at least the next two games due to his upper-body injury, relays Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News (Twitter link). The 24-year-old sophomore has logged close to 20 minutes a game on Buffalo’s back end this season while collecting seven assists and 34 blocks in 32 games.