Six Years Later, Johnny Boychuk Trade Proves Beneficial for Bruinsby Filip Canda April 24, 2020 0 comments
The Boston Bruins’ trade history might be considered as questionable at times. One of the most painful departures of the past decade for the Bruins is Johnny Boychuk‘s trade in 2014. Johnny Rocket made it possible for the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup in 2011, compete in another Cup Final in 2013, and win the Presidents’ Trophy in 2014.
Boychuk played his last game for the Bruins in May 2014, when the Bruins were eliminated by the Montreal Canadiens in Game 7 of the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Boychuk was a key component of Claude Julien‘s top defensive team at that time. The Bruins felt his absence when they missed the playoffs in the two sequential campaigns (2015 and 2016).
Nevertheless, it all started to change at the beginning of the 2016-17 season; from then on, Bruins made the playoffs for four consecutive seasons. Boychuk’s departure was a fundamental one. On the other hand, it helped the Bruins in their future outcome.
The Bruins traded Boychuk ahead of the 2014-15 season to the New York Islanders for two second-round draft picks. At the time of the trade, Boychuk was a 30-year-old right-handed defenseman. His cap hit was $3.366 million per season on a former three-year deal signed in 2012.
The Bruins knew they couldn’t afford to re-sign Boychuk long-term, as the 31-year-old defenseman signed a seven-year contract extension worth $6 million per season in 2015 with the Islanders.
Right after that, in the 2015 NHL Draft, the Bruins used their gained 37th overall draft choice to select Brandon Carlo. Carlo was a promising, robust right-handed defenseman. The Bruins hoped he would substitute Boychuk one day. Seemingly, the Bruins’ hopes were fulfilled.
Carlo made his NHL debut with the Bruins in the fall of 2016, only two years after the Bruins traded away Boychuk. As of now, Carlo managed to play in 297 NHL games, scoring 51 points. In the meantime, Boychuk’s point total was 71 points.
Currently, Boychuk is a 36-year-old defenseman on his decline with two more seasons at $6 million per campaign. On the other hand, Carlo is a reliable 23-year-old rearguard as the Bruins have a top-four right-shot defenseman secured in him for a long time.
The second second-round draft choice the Bruins scored in the Boychuk trade was converted with the selection of Ryan Lindgren in 2016. Lindgren made his NHL breakthrough this season while playing 60 games with the New York Rangers. The Bruins included him in a Rick Nash trade in 2018.
Perhaps, at the time of the trade, Boychuk’s departure was a tough pill to swallow. Nevertheless, the Bruins managed to conduct the best possible effort to eventually replace Boychuk at an affordable price.