Boston Bruins are searching for a top center and are linked to two exceptional Edmonton Oilers players…

After missing out on the playoffs in consecutive seasons and failing to make it to the conference finals, the Boston Bruins may be thinking about adding a top-line centre to improve their postseason performance.

Two players have been linked to the Bruins in recent reports: Elias Lindholm of the Vancouver Canucks (unrestricted free agency on July 1, 2024) and Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers (under contract through the 2024–2025 season).

Georges Laraque, a former NHL player and analyst, made the following suggestion on BPM Sports, 91.9 FM in Montreal (via Boston Hockey Now): Draisaitl, who has a one-year contract with the Oilers, might be interested in joining the Bruins if he decides not to extend it and the team does not make it far into the playoffs.

On April 30, Laraque stated, “Someone well placed within the Oilers organisation said that he doesn’t see Draisaitl re-signing at the end of his deal and that he’d prefer to be a first-line centre in Boston if the Oilers don’t go deep in the playoffs.”

The Bruins may target Lindholm as a free agency on July 1, 2024, before pursuing Draisaitl.

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, who talked about it on the May 24 edition of the “32 Thoughts” podcast, believes the Bruins will go for Lindholm should he become available.

On May 24, Friedman stated, “Lindholm is a player (the Bruins) liked before he was traded to Vancouver.” “If he goes on the market, I expect them to be in on him.”

Boston May Consider Signing Lindholm or Chasing Draisaitl

With the Oilers, Draisaitl, 28, will start the last season of an eight-year, $68 million contract. After the 2024–25 season, he will reach 30 years old, marking the conclusion of his current contract.

Laraque told Boston Hockey Now that Draisaitl might decide not to re-sign with the Oilers after his contract expires, building on his initial report from late April. Consequently, Edmonton might be forced to consider dealing him rather than losing the player for nothing in July 2025.

“This playoff run was huge for that regard, and someone around the team told me that there’s a chance Leon doesn’t resign with the Oilers,” Laraque said to BHN. “After that, when we discussed possible best fits, I suggested Boston because they didn’t have any centres.”

“A source who knows Draisaitl” told the outlet that “Draisaitl works out with Bruins superstar winger David Pastrnak in Prague each offseason, and the two have become ‘friends,'” according to Jimmy Murphy, the author of the BHN report that quoted Laraque.

After being traded from Calgary in February 2024, Lindholm had a poor regular season with the Canucks (12 points, 6 goals, and 6 assists in 26 games). Despite this, he excelled for Vancouver throughout the playoffs, recording 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) in 13 contests.

Lindholm’s defensive brilliance is perhaps one of his most appealing skill sets; it helped him place second in the Selke Trophy competition in 2021–2022. For background, former Boston centre Patrice Bergeron was the winner six times.

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