Today, on Friday February 21, the Bruins announced they have acquired Forward Ondrej Kase from the Anaheim Ducks. The team is sending David Backes, a 2020 first round pick, and prospect D Axel Andersson to Anaheim. The Bruins are also retaining 25% of David Backes’ salary ($1.5M). The Bruins now have $3.95M available in cap space going into Monday’s NHL Trade Deadline.
Ondrej Kase is a right winger with 7 goals and 16 assists for 23 points in 49 games with Anaheim this season. In the 2017-2018 campaign, his last remotely healthy season, Kase scored 20 goals and 18 assists for 38 points in 66 games. He is a possession monster with quality scoring ability that can put the Bruins third line over the top, likely featuring the likes of Anders Bjork and Charlie Coyle – both also being heavy possession players.
The trade effectively improves the Bruins third line, frees up cap space by moving Backes, and makes the idea of trading Danton Heinen entirely feasible. That being said, Kase may be able to play on the second line with DeBrusk and Krejci, as well.
This trade may be huge for Boston, but it is entirely possible this isn’t the last card we see Don Sweeney play before the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday. The Bruins are possibly still in the hunt for a 2nd line right winger, with names like Kyle Palmieri and Chris Kreider still on the market. Other players such as Josh Anderson, Tomas Tatar, Mike Hoffman, J.G. Pageau, Ilya Kovalchuk, Patrick Marleau, and Joe Thornton are still floating through the rumor mill.
With the available cap space and newly-made expendability of Danton Heinen, Don Sweeney has options. Names like Heinen, prospect D Urho Vaakanainen, and Jeremy Lauzon continue to be tossed through the rumor mill out of Boston, and it’s possible a combination of these names and more assets might find their way out the door for a 2nd line winger.