July 17, 2024


“It is the one crew that I do know and the crew that I grew up with.”

Boston Bruins Jake DeBrusk during practice before they play the Pittsburgh Penguins in tomorrow's Winter Classic at Fenway Park.
Jake DeBrusk was on tempo for 35 objectives over 82 video games final season. Matthew J. Lee / Globe Employees

Jake DeBrusk is a hefty pay elevate subsequent summer season.

The 26-year-old winger elevated his inventory following a breakout season for the Bruins in 2022. Over an 82-game tempo final season, DeBrusk was projected to attain 35 objectives and submit 64 factors — a brand new benchmark in scoring that was thwarted because of a damaged fibula suffered through the 2023 Winter Basic.

Add in a blossoming defensive recreation and elevated reps on each the ability play and penalty kill, and the top-six stalwart will inevitably command a wage past the $4 million he’s anticipated to earn this yr in Boston.

Jake DeBrusk developed into a robust two-way participant through the 2022-23 season for Boston.

However with unrestricted free company looming subsequent summer season, DeBrusk hopes that he doesn’t need to go very far searching for long-term safety (and a elevate).

“I’m hoping to remain [with the Boston Bruins],” DeBrusk informed NHL.com’s Derek Van Diest on Tuesday. “It’s the one crew that I do know and the crew that I grew up with. Hopefully it goes in that route, and we’ll see the way it goes. That’s why I’ve an agent {Rick Valette), and I informed him I wished to remain out of this one and in time, it’ll be good when all of it will get accomplished.”

Despite the fact that subsequent summer season will mark the primary time in his profession that DeBrusk will turn out to be an unrestricted free agent, each he and his representatives aren’t any strangers to contract negotiations or potential participant motion.

After his entry-level deal expired, DeBrusk inked a two-year, $7.35 million extension with Boston in November 2020 earlier than signing off on one other two-year, $8 million deal again in March 2022. On the time of his newest contract signing, DeBrusk had a standing commerce request in place.

“It’s not my first time going via this. It’s my third time my contract is up with them,” DeBrusk stated. “I type of know what to anticipate, though it’s just a little bit totally different with now being a UFA. I’m not too centered on that. I’ve type of examined the waters earlier than and I’m simply going to give attention to hockey.”

In the end, DeBrusk rescinded his commerce request previous to the beginning of the 2022-23 season and emerged as a top-six participant for Boston. Despite the fact that his fibula harm in January put him on the shelf for over six weeks, DeBrusk performed a key function in Boston’s record-setting season final yr, incomes most of his reps on a high line subsequent to Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

“Final yr once I obtained injured within the Winter Basic, I used to be simply actually beginning to come into my recreation, so it made me just a little bit offended as a result of I assumed I used to be going to go on type of a heater there, which in all probability would have ended up being 30 or 35 (objectives),” DeBrusk stated. “However it’s straightforward to say that, and everybody begins at zero and also you go from there.

“If I keep wholesome, I believe I can rating 30 this season. I’ve knocked on the door twice with 27 (additionally in 2018-19), and I’ve 25 in there as nicely (in 2021-22). I believe if I keep wholesome, that’s clearly the purpose, to lastly get to that 30 mark.”

The Bruins will welcome a 30-goal season for DeBrusk, given the quantity of expertise that has been sapped from Boston’s ahead corps this summer season.

Together with the retirement of each Bergeron and David Krejci, Boston misplaced a few potential top-six regulars on the wing after buying and selling Taylor Corridor and shedding Tyler Bertuzzi in free company.

“There are a whole lot of totally different expectations, particularly with every part that’s modified with the middle place,” DeBrusk stated. “Dropping Bergy and Krech, these are fairly huge losses. In saying that, I believe there have been lots of people who didn’t assume we had been going to make the playoffs final season, and so we’re again in the identical place.”

If DeBrusk can lastly hit that 30-goal threshold in 2023-24, it ought to assist alleviate a few of Boston’s considerations within the top-six unit, particularly with the Bruins putting extra duty and reps on the shoulders of facilities in Charlie Coyle and Pavel Zacha.

Given Don Sweeney and the Bruins’ choice to keep away from letting key belongings hit free company, it wouldn’t come as a lot of a shock if negotiations ramp up between the crew and DeBrusk’s camp subsequent month as soon as gamers report back to Warrior Ice Enviornment.

The eight-year, $52 million deal that Brandon Hagel struck with the Lightning final week may very well be a strong start line in negotiations. 

However because the Bruins look to construct a brand new core of expertise for the post-Bergeron period, maintaining a possible 30-goal scorer in his prime like DeBrusk looks as if a given, particularly given the winger’s reluctance to hit the open market.

“You begin from Sport 1, identical to another season,” DeBrusk stated of his outlook for this upcoming season. “You wish to construct your recreation and also you wish to enhance on what you are able to do on the market and attempt to earn extra alternative.

“I believe it’s a type of issues the place we’re not likely involved with what folks say about our crew. I believe we’re a fairly strong group, we have now a lot of guys which might be there that obtained us to that time, (and) we added a few guys on the deadline. Some guys which have left does change issues, however I’m centered on Sport 1. It’s the one solution to do it.”