For several seasons now, the biggest question mark on the Bruins roster always seems to be the right wing paired with David Krejci. Since the departure of Nathan Horton, the Bruins have tried countless wingers at the position, hoping to find the one who sticks.
Appearing on the Bruins Beat podcast on CLNS Media NESN Bruins Analyst Dale Arnold intimated that the right wing spot might not be the biggest problem with the Krejci line.
“I’ve seen talk about Wayne Simmonds, I’ve heard (Mats) Zucharello) but before we even talk about who’s going to be on the right side on that combo, you gotta think about the left side for a minute. You gotta think about Jake Debrusk.”
While DeBrusk reportedly battled through injuries during the playoffs, – including lingering post-concussion symptoms after a first-round hit by Maple Leaf Nazem Kadri – he was only able to find the back of the net three times the entire 2019 playoffs.
“He kind of disappeared there at the end,” Arnold said.
The potential is clearly there for DeBrusk, who’s sophomore season featured a 27-goal performance. But Arnold clearly wants to see more.
“I’m not writing him off,” Arnold said. “He’s young, he’s talented… I’d like him to use his size to his advantage. I didn’t see enough of that this year.
“It’s probably going to be DeBrusk, and I’m fine with that. He’s got to step his game up.”
Assuming DeBrusk sticks Arnold thinks it will be hard to bring in outside help to fill the Bruins need for a consistent right wing for Krejci. The Bruins are going to need to devote a lot of financial resources to their defense corps to lock up Torey Krug and restricted free agents Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. After that there may not be any money left.
That being said Arnold knows what he’d like to see the Bruins try and do.
“I will say that the [Nathan] Horton, [David Krejc] [Milan] Lucic combination was the blueprint you’re trying to replicate and I don’t know that they can.”