At the NHL Trade Deadline, the Bruins may target three defensemen.

The NHL trade deadline is less than a month away on March 8, and the Bruins are once again a strong candidate for the Stanely Cup in the East. Boston may decide to bolster their blue line in order to add more size and depth.


Though it would make sense to strengthen the defensive core prior to a postseason push, fans shouldn’t expect general manager Don Sweeney to go all in as he did last season.


The Bruins may want to target the following three defensemen:


Calgary Flames’ Noah Hanifin has a $4.95 million cap hit.

Hanifin is a native of the area. Born and raised in Norwood, Massachusetts, he attended Boston College for one year before being selected fifth overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

At the end of the 2024–2027 season, the 27-year-old defenseman will become an unrestricted free agent (UFA). Calgary could try to trade him before the deadline to avoid losing him to free agency this summer.


In 54 games this season, Hanifin has averaged 23:44 minutes of ice time, 30 points, 80 blocked shots, and 44 hits for the Flames. He’s regarded as a legitimate top-four defenseman.

Anaheim Ducks’ Ilya Lyubushkin has a $2.75 million cap hit.

Although Lyubushkin wouldn’t give the Bruins much depth in scoring from the blue line, he would inflict more physicality by finishing checks and killing penalties.


His playing style is perfect for Cup contenders who want to add muscle before the postseason. The 2024 season will mark the end of his contract as well.


The 29-year-old Russian, who averages 17:06 minutes of ice time per game, has 130 blocked shots and 99 hits in 50 games with the Ducks.


Philadelphia Flyers’ Sean Walker has a $2.65 million cap hit.

Walker has spent the whole Philadelphia season alternating between the second and third pairings, averaging 19:27 minutes on the ice.


With 19 points in 55 games for the Flyers this season, 80 blocked shots, and 72 hits, the 29-year-old defenseman is having one of his greatest seasons.


His consistent penalty killing and two-way play at even strength could help fortify the Bruins’ blue line in the closing minutes. Walker is a UFA after the conclusion of the 2024 season, just like Hanifin and Lyubuskin.


Any of these defenseman would bolster Boston’s blue line with size and physicality, but Sweeney would have to be resourceful to make any trades before the deadline since the Bruins have less than $1 million in salary cap room.

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