I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bruins packaged Vatrano with a few other pieces this summer to try and grab a top 4 LHD especially with Chara being on the last year of his contract and him also being 40 years old. If Vatrano is still on the team come training camp he will be in a tough battle for the 2nd and 3rd line LW positions. Anders Bjork should get the first crack at 2nd line LW but I expect Vatrano, Debrusk and Cehlarik to battle for the 3rd line position. But in a short way of putting it, No I don’t think Vatrano is safe at all unless he learns how to play RW.
My gut tells me Sweeney will trade this pick but the problem is this draft class looks extremely weak so it doesn’t have much value compared to past years. I think there are 3 options for trading pick #18 the first being package the pick, Spooner and Vatrano for a LHD maybe Jonas Brodin from the Minnesota Wild, a solid defenseman who 25 points in 68 games last year he’s still young as well only being 23 years old. Option two trade the pick for a 3rd line RW right now the lead candidate for 3rd line RW is Sean Kuraly after his strong playoff performance but the Bruins might want to consider him a 4th liner and grab a 3rd line guy who can put up some more points. Option 3 is trade the pick along with guys like Beleskey or Hayes to dump salary, Vegas recently said that they would be interested in taking on bad contracts for draft picks or prospects this might be the B’s best chance to dump those two.
Fan expectations for Charlie after his playoff performances are going to be through the roof but fans are going to need to have patience. I expect him to have a solid year but with his hight tempo style he will have his fair share of growing pains. The Bruins probably won’t rely on him too much they will have him play on the power plays and a regular top 4 role but same as the playoffs he won’t see much penalty kill time. Luckily for the Bruins and McAvoy he has adjusted to the next level almost seamlessly his entire hockey career.
Jimmy Hayes will be the most likely buy-out candidate if the Bruins can’t find a team to take on his contract. Matt Beleskey on the other hand I don’t think there is any chance he gets bought out but Sweeney will be looking to move him this summer for sure. Beleskey had a rough year but it wasn’t similar to Hayes, Matt got hurt pretty early and just never recovered which led to a lot of no shows and healthy scratches. I think JFK gets the 1st shot at 3rd line center that was a big selling point for him leaving NCAA early and turning pro. Debrusk had a rough start to his pro career but really turned it around and became one of Providences best players I expect he will make the team as the 3rd line LW. Cehlarik will start the year in Providence he just had shoulder surgery and won’t be ready until training camp, so he could use some time in the AHL to recover and get back up to speed. Heinen is an interesting case the B’s are extremely high on him and so am I but with him being a LW/C and the log jam of players the Bruins have at those positions I am not sure where he ends up but I expect him to get a serious shot to make Boston in training camp. David Krejci the most hated player by fans for no reason he will be fine next year, look is he worth the $7 mil per year he’s paid? No but he is still a great player the problem with last year was he didn’t have a LW at all, it was a carousel of players coming and going. If Bjork can stick and play well and Krejci can stay healthy I expect him to have a great season. McAvoy is the real deal but not yet there will be plenty of growing pains next season but he is your #1 defenseman of the future.
This will be one of the most intriguing stories of training camp but this is Khudobins position to lose it all depends on if he is the goalie we saw in the last 2 months of the regular season or the one of the first 2 months. McIntyre had a phenomenal season in Providence but really struggled in the conference finals. The Bruins won’t look outside of the organization to solve their goalie issues with the $ they have tied up to Rask, Khudobin and McIntyre (RFA).