Even before the Boston Bruins’ rash of defensive injuries and the loss of Patrice Bergeron, the team was having early-season issues with secondary scoring. With their No. 1 center and so much talent on the back end now out of commission, that need is now even more exasperated. As The Athletic’s Joe McDonald writes, they have zeroed in on a center as their biggest need, one who could presumably make up for Bergeron’s absence for the next four weeks before taking over the third line center slot.
Heading into the season, the Bruins gave prospects Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Trent Frederic, and Jack Studnicka a shot to win the third line center spot in training camp. When none succeeded initially, Boston then tried Sean Kuraly and David Backes in the role, without any better results. The team has relied on free agent addition Joakim Nordstrom for much of the season thus far and recently recalled Forsbacka Karlsson as well. McDonald believes that “JFK” is the key to what comes next for the Bruins. The 22-year-old has two points in seven games so far this season and has seen his responsibilities grow, capped off by centering Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak last night and matching up against Sidney Crosby when the Bruins faced the Pittsburgh Penguins. McDonald opines that the Bruins are testing Forsbacka Karlsson to see if he could be the in-house solution to their problems, rather than make a trade.
Yet, if it comes to it, it seems that Boston has found their favored trade target. McDonald reports that the Bruins have had conversations with the Minnesota Wild as early as this past summer about Charlie Coyle and have renewed they’re interested in acquiring the forward. McDonald cites colleague Michael Russo, who recently listed Coyle as one of the Wild’s available players and feels that his ceiling is limited.