Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk reportedly wants to stay with the team beyond this season as he is set to become a free agent on July 1st of next year. NHL.com Staff Writer Derek Van Diest writes that the 26-year-old told reporters at the Perry Pearn 3 vs. 3 Hockey Camp that he is hoping to stay with the team that he grew up with.
It’s a departure from how the former first-round pick felt about his future just a short time ago. DeBrusk requested a trade from the Bruins in November of 2021 after he was benched by former Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. He eventually had a change of heart and rescinded his request in 2022. Through all the ups and downs Bruins management supported DeBrusk, as did his teammates.
Last year DeBrusk rewarded the team’s support with the best season of his NHL career. He set career highs with 27 goals and 23 assists in 64 games while posting a +26. It was night and day with his 2020-21 season where he posted career lows with just five goals and nine assists in 41 games.
The Bruins have seen a lot of players depart from the team that won an NHL record 65 games last season. Gone are Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Tyler Bertuzzi and Dmitry Orlov, and while most teams would struggle to overcome those kinds of losses, the Bruins should be able to remain competitive.
Part of remaining competitive will be to extend their upcoming free agents starting with DeBrusk. The Edmonton, Alberta native has made it clear he wants to stay, but what will his extension look like? A lot of comparisons to Brandon Hagel have been thrown around since he signed his new deal last week. However, Hagel is almost two years younger and put up 30 goals and 34 assists this past season in 81 games. On the flip side, DeBrusk has a longer track record of success and is set to hit unrestricted free agency.
While the players aren’t a mirror image of one another, Hagel’s contract is a pretty good comparison for the Bruins and DeBrusk to utilize as a framework for an extension that both sides appear eager to sign.