Decision day is fast approaching Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney in regards to trade deadline on March 3, 2023. There are also two decisions facing the GM not pertaining to trade deadline and that date could come in mid to late March. And the question is: what to do with Dustyn McFaul and Quinn Olson? Both player’s college careers will come to an end and Sweeney must decide on whether to sign them or let them go as unrestricted free agents on August 15, 2023.
McFaul, a defenseman, was selected in the sixth round of the 2018 Entry Draft (181st overall) from the Pickering Panthers of the OJHL. Olson, a forward, was selected in the third round of the 2019 Entry Draft (92nd overall) from the Okotoks Oilers of the AJHL. Both players took the college route; McFaul with Clarkson and Olson with Minnesota-Duluth.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I coveted both players where the Bruins drafted them. I believed that if their offence could translate at the higher levels, they’d turn out to be decent picks. Five and four years later, it hasn’t turned out that way.
McFaul turned into a young leader with Pickering and had shown some offensive ability. Today, he is the Captain with Clarkson and is on pace for his best offensive season, but I think everyone was hoping for more offence.
Olson was over a point-per-game player in the AJHL and figured him to be a .75 points-per-game player in his fourth year of college. Instead, he’s been at .48, .39, .59 and .54 points-per-game in each of his four years.
One thing standing in the way for Sweeney is the team sits at 47 contracts of the 50 allowable and depending on what he does at trade deadline, there may be no maneuverability there. Signing them to a PTO to play in Providence is an option, leaving the door open to sign an NHL contract in the offseason. Not to mention the fact Sweeney will want to leave contract spots open in order to go after other NCAA free agents that may become available in March.
Both players have been passed on the depth chart as well. In McFaul’s case, the Bruins have Mason Lohrei in waiting. They also drafted Jackson Edward in 2022 who is a more physical version who looks like he can bring more offence as well. And Frederic Brunet will be looking to turn pro next season as well.
There isn’t much room in Boston on the wing for Olson in the next few years and jumping ahead of him who are likely headed to play wing are Riley Duran and Brett Harrison. Not to mention a guy in Providence looking to earn an NHL contract in Luke Toporowski.
You still have to ice an AHL roster so signing both is a possibility and then you hope for the best.
Here’s a look at the Bruins prospects outside of North American pro hockey and when the Bruins rights expire for those players:
I expect Lohrei and Brunet to sign deals although the latter could be loaned to the QMJHL for an overaged year. Edward and Matthew Poitras must be extended bona-fide offers by June 1, 2023 or they re-enter the draft. I expect both to be tendered and then the Bruins will have until June 1, 2024 to sign them if they don’t sign this offseason.
Here’s a look at the Providence Bruins leaders:
Coming up this week:
|PLAYER||MON 30||TUE 31||WED 1||THU 2||FRI 3||SAT 4||SUN 5|
|MANTYKIVI||At TPS||V HAM||At JUK|
|LOCMELIS||At MOR||At LEK|
|MYRENBERG||At DJU||Vs VAS||Vs V H|
|JELLVIK/GASSEAU/KUNTAR||At N E||At M-L|
|LOHREI||Vs P S||Vs P S|
|SPICER/OLSON||Vs W M||Vs W M|
|DURAN/SVEDEBACK||V MASS||At VER|
|MCFAUL||At YLE||At BRN|
|POITRAS||At ER||At KIT||Vs KIT|
|HARRISON||Vs SOO||Vs HAM||Vs O S|
|MAST||At KIT||Vs SOO||Vs OTT|
|EDWARD||Vs SAG||At ER|
|BRUNET||V MCT||V VdOR|
|DYCK||At SEA||At TC||At SPO|
AROUND THE GLOBE
Frederic Brunet has a 7-game point streak going with 3 goals and 11 assists. Since Victoriaville acquired him in a trade, Brunet has points in of 9 games. Going back to his time in Rimouski, he has points in * of 14 games on 3 goals and 12 assists. He sits 2nd in scoring among defencemen in the QMJHL with 9 goals and 41 assists. His 21 PP assists leads the QMJHL.
Dans Locmelis had an 8-game point streak of 3 goals and 11 assists come to an end on Saturday. Despite battling a non-covid related illness, he battled through the game. His coach said there was no way he was staying out of the lineup. Despite his point streak coming to an end, Locmelis is tied for the league lead with 10 points in 6 games in the J20 Nationell Top-10.
Ty Gallagher is a defenceman we should all be excited about. When given offensive opportunities, he’s shown he can produce points to go along with his solid defensive game. He had 2 goals and 2 assists on Friday and had 3 goals and 4 assists in 3 games before being shutout on Saturday.
Matthew Poitras is on a modest 2 game point streak with 2 goals and 4 assists in those 2 games. He has points in 8 of his last 9 games on 3 goals and 13 helpers and 3 games with 3 assists in each during the month of January. His 42 assists are third in the OHL and 20 PP assists are second. With 54 points on the season, he surpassed his career high of 50 set a year ago in 28 fewer games.
You’ve got to feel for Philip Svedeback. He’s lost 4 in a row and is 1-5-1 in the month of January. In fairness to Svedeback, he’s doing his job but the Providence Friars are not giving him much run support. In the 5 losses, Providence was shut out 3 times and lost the other two by identical 3-2 scores with one being in overtime. The only win? They scored 8 and won 8-3.
Andre Gasseau is quietly having a freshman season few expected. He has 3 goals and 6 assists in his last 9 games (non-consecutive) and his 5 goals and 10 assists in 23 games on the season have him tied for 4th on the Boston College roster.
Reid Dyck has taken over the crease for the Swift Current Broncos and is 6-3-1 in his last 10 decisions. His numbers are slowly creeping upwards. In those 3 regulation losses the Broncos were outshot 124-84. Dyck is doing his part and like Svedeback above, isn’t always getting the run support. The Broncos sit 7th in the WHL Eastern Conference just 3 points up on a playoff spot. As Dyck goes, so will the Broncos.
Oskar Jellvik had a promising start to his college (and North American) debut with a goal and 6 assists in his first 9 games. He is now pointless in his last 5 games and has points in just 2 of his last 12 games. Jellvik needs to begin shooting more instead of always looking to make a play and he really needs to work on that 2.7 shooting percentage.
Brett Harrison was on quite a tear and then hit a 3-game pointless streak – his longest of the season. That ended on Sunday with a 2-goal effort and giving him his 25th and 26th goals of the season, one short of his career high of 27 he had a season ago in 65 games. Sunday was Harrison’s 39th game. I had him pegged for a 40-goal, 80-point season to call it a success. He’s on pace for 41 goals and 79 points. With the absence of Shane Wright, Harrison was back in the middle of the ice during his pointless streak.
Jake Schmaltz is out with an injury and is pointless in 7 games.