The Boston Bruins made their first move of deadline season when they acquired Ondrej Kase from the Anaheim Ducks. However, there’s still a need for offensive production on the Bruins’ top six.
While they’ve been heavily linked to the likes of Chris Kreider and Kyle Palmieri, they’d need to take a number from the metaphorical deli line. Those guys are two of the hottest commodities this deadline and most likely would require a bidding war.
That being said, there are always players that aren’t hot commodities who appear to find themselves on Don Sweeney’s radar. Last year it was Marcus Johansson and Charlie Coyle. The year before that was Rick Nash and Tommy Wingels. We’ve seen Lee Stempniak and John-Michael Liles before as well.
And, so far this year, it’s been Ondrej Kase.
The trend in Sweeney’s moves never seems to include a blockbuster deal. It appears he’d rather hit two doubles than go for one home run, getting production out of multiple spots in the lineup versus just one.
Enter the newest player who could be a good target for the Boston Bruins: Tyler Ennis.
The former first-round pick of the Sabres back in 2008 has never truly lived up to the potential that made him the 26th pick. However, this season he’s been one of the better players on an Ottawa Senators team that’s 21 points out of the second wild-card spot.
In 61 games, the 30-year-old forward from Edmonton has 14 goals and 19 assists. On top of that, he has a Corsi-for percentage of 56.1.
Aside from his 10 points on the powerplay (tied for sixth on the Bruins), Ennis has a very favorable contract ($800,000) that fits well within the $2.7 million Boston has in space.
But how do these numbers match up with the rest of the Bruins roster?
Among players with a minimum of 500 minutes on ice, Ennis ranks sixth in Corsi-for percentage, sixth in goals, and eighth in points. He also can play both wing positions, which is precisely what the Bruins are looking for.
Which line he’d slide into is unknown, but one would have to imagine he’d be playing on Coyle’s left with Bjork on the right and the newly-acquired Kase sliding in on Krejci’s right.
The main drawback with Ennis is that he is rather small, listing at just 5-foot-9 and 161 pounds. Both Kreider and Thornton are big-bodied forwards who don’t get pushed off the puck easily and, while Palmieri isn’t big and bulky, is still bigger than Ennis. However, when it comes to what it would cost the Bruins financially as well as other assets, Ennis is one of the more cost-efficient gets at the deadline.
Oh, and despite his size, Ennis is not afraid to use the body, as his 76 hits registered would be good for ninth on the Bruins.
There have been no reports to indicate an interest in the Senators’ winger, but he fills an offensive need that Boston seems to covet every year at the deadline.