Bruins Game 1 Hero Available for Toronto Maple Leafs to Poach

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game One
Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game One / Brian Fluharty/GettyImages

Spite is not the best way to handle business. It is definitely not the motivator an NHL general manager should use to make decisions. However, Toronto Maple Leafs GM, Brad Treliving, has the opportunity to take a big swipe at the Boston Bruins.

In Game 1 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Boston Bruins, Jake DeBrusk was named the second star of the game (behind goaltender Jeremy Swayman's first star).

That's because in the 17:46 minutes he played, DeBrusk recorded two goals and an assist. (All statistics are via Cap Friendly)

He outscored the Leafs all by himself in that game, putting Toronto on their heels early in the series.

Bruins Game 1 Hero Available for Toronto Maple Leafs to Poach

The Leafs will have the opportunity to poach DeBrusk when NHL free agency opens on July 1.

That's because his $4 million AAV expires at season's end. As a winger who can play on either side of center, (though he's better on the left side) he could be a valuable addition in 2024-25. That would be especially true if Tyler Bertuzzi doesn't return to Toronto next season.

DeBrusk has spent his entire seven year NHL career with the Bruins. They selected him in the first round of the 2015 Entry Draft, 14th overall. Since then, he has collected 266 career regular season points in 465 games off 138 goals and 128 assists, with 101 penalty minutes.

After his exceptional Game 1 performance for the Bruins, DeBrusk upped his NHL playoff total to 39 points in his 73 career postseason games. He has scored 24 goals with 15 assists.

The 27-year-old is from Edmonton, Alberta, and he played his junior hockey in the Western Hockey League. This suggests that DeBrusk may not have deep rooted allegiance to remainig in Boston and could return to his home country for the next stage of his career.

With Leafs management getting a close look at DeBrusk, they may become very interested in bringing him into the fold next year and reach out to his representatives to try and make it happen.

DeBrusk has been an important player for the Bruins, playing primarily on the second line. He is versatile and reliable. As a pending UFA, the Maple Leafs wouldn't have to give Boston any assets back in return if they managed to come to terms and sign the winger during the off season.

It's always helpful to add a veteran voice in the locker room. With DeBrusk playing hard every night, he gives his squad energy, Out of sight from fans, he may continue to do the same for his teammates. At the very least, he has a great deal of experience to draw upon when speaking to and giving advice to younger players in the locker room.


DeBrusk will help his team no matter where he ends up next season. If it's with the Toronto Maple Leafs, management would also know that the move not only improves the Buds on-ice play, but it also hurts the Bruins. Spite can be a powerful motivator.