If Jake DeBrusk ever does uncover the formula that once made him one of the most promising young players in the Bruins organization, he’ll likely do so in another uniform.
TSN’s Ryan Rishaug reported that DeBrusk’s agent has asked the Bruins for a trade after being benched for Sunday’s win over the Vancouver Canucks. Rishaug tweeted:
“Spoke with Rick Valette today, agent for Jake DeBrusk, he confirmed he asked for a trade over the weekend. It’s felt a change of scenery moving forward would be beneficial. DeBrusk will remain with the team while the Bruins try and facilitate the request.”
DeBrusk had 16 goals and 27 assists as a rookie in 2017-18 and followed that with 42 points in 2018-19 and 35 in 2019-20 as he settled in as a fixture on the team’s second line alongside David Krejci. His game seemed to suffer during the pandemic. He has three goals and three assists through 17 games this year.
Bruce Cassidy has attempted to prod him at times and nurture him at others while moving him up and down in the lineup. But inconsistent effort and production earned him another healthy scratch Sunday. Cassidy said when DeBrusk isn’t scoring, the rest of his game tends to fall off.
“I think what happens with Jake and what we’ve seen over the last few years is, like when the production is there you’re getting more second effort, they kind of go hand in hand,” Cassidy said Sunday. “When it’s not there, we lose a little bit of that. That’s been the ask of him for a number of years now — no drop off on this side of the ledger just because the production isn’t there.
“Any 20-goal scorer still only scores once every four games if they’re playing every game, more or less, so you still need the other things. A little bit more of an ask there on second effort away from the puck, working to keep it out of your net, etc,” he continued. “We understand certain guys can be physical when they’re not scoring or bringing something, and for him, it’s foot speed, and I’d like to see that every night. I’d like to see him impact the game with his foot speed every night in some way shape or form, whether it’s the forecheck, attacking the net, the penalty kill, whatever the case may be. So, that’s where we’re at, and we’re starting to see that drop off again, so it’s a reminder.”
It’ll be interesting to see if DeBrusk plays Tuesday, as Boston will already be down a forward with Brad Marchand suspended.
Story by Matt Vautour, masslive.com