No matter which side of the picket fence you sat on – the one that believed Jack Studnicka wasn’t given a fair opportunity in Boston or the one that thinks he is not an NHL player – you are about to venture on the hockey journey where you can say “I was right” or be forced to “eat crow”.
As much as I tried to logically have conversations with fans and explain why Studnicka was not getting waived (he didn’t make enough money to clear Boston’s cap problems and there was a market for him) I wasn’t shocked to hear that the almost inevitable trade was confirmed during the second intermission of last night’s game against the Red Wings.
The Bruins dealt former second round pick Studnicka (53rd in 2017) to the Vancouver Canucks for former third round pick Michael DiPietro (64th in 2017) and former 5th round pick Jonathan Myrenberg (140th in 2021).
DiPietro was an outstanding Junior Goaltender. He accomplished everything from OHL All-Rookie Team, Memorial Cup Champion, Memorial Cup Outstanding Goaltender, OHL Goaltender of the Year, CHL Goaltender of the Year, World Junior Championship and WJC top 3 player on his team.
You have to look long and hard to find a resume with all the accomplishments DiPietro had. But that was as a junior hockey player. He just has not been able to find his footing as a professional. A lot has been said over the last few years about the Canucks mishandling of DiPietro’s development. Then there is the group that warned everyone that DiPietro’s size would prevent him from being an NHL goaltender. There’s a third group now saying that all DiPietro needed was a change of scenery.
I’m not about to pick sides however, I will say that knowing the work that Bob Essensa and Mike Dunham do with Bruins goaltenders and knowing MDP’s work ethic, that nothing would surprise me.
DiPietro is signed for this season and carries a cap hit of $840,000 with an AHL salary of $70,000. He is waiver exempt for this season and will require waivers for the 2023-2024 season.
Drafted out of Europe, Myrenberg is unsigned. The Bruins will hold his rights until June 1, 2025, at which time he will become an unrestricted free agent unless signed. There are those that will look at “5th round pick” and mutter something to the effect that this was a waste.
Fact of the matter is, Myrenberg is exactly the type of player you look for in those rounds – a player that is going to be 3, 4 or 5 years away but with all the potential. That’s what the Canucks believed they had (they even said they can’t wait 5 years for him) and what the Bruins now believe they have.
We won’t know the results of this trade for some time. However, the Bruins did well if only because they needed to move a body and that body was Studnicka because there was no room at the Inn for him. Waivers wasn’t an option as he surely would have been claimed by someone. So, Kudos to Don Sweeney on this one.
If you follow this blog regularly, I will have more on Myrenberg in my Monday Morning Prospects Updates.