Bruins GM reveals thinking behind Jack Studnicka trade with Canucks

Bruins GM reveals the reasoning behind Studnicka trade with Canucks originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Jack Studnicka was once rated among the very best prospects in the Boston Bruins' organization, but his career with the franchise ended without him making much of an impact at the NHL level.

The Bruins traded Studnicka to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night in exchange for goaltender Michael DiPietro and defenseman Jonathan Myrenberg.

The Bruins have excellent depth at center, even with David Krejci suffering an upper body injury in Thursday night's 5-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings.

A clear No. 1 goalie is emerging for Bruins, and that's very encouraging

So there really wasn't much of a chance for Studnicka to earn a consistent role on the NHL roster. In that case, trading him was the best course of action for both parties.

"Everything is timing, right?” Sweeney told reporters in a press conference Thursday night. "(David Krejci) gets hurt in the game, so you maybe start to second guess making a move earlier in the day and finalizing it during the game. But we made the commitment from a roster standpoint in what direction we were going to go.

"And really it was an opportunity for Jack, also. A reset and go to a team that was looking for a younger center who could probably grow with their group. They have significant injuries, and I think he goes in and gets a really good opportunity right away that he probably wouldn’t have gotten here. Maybe (he could go in for Krejci) but we're inclined to move Pavel (Zacha) into the middle of the ice as you saw tonight."

The Canucks enter Friday with the second-worst record in the league at 1-5-2. We could see Vancouver enter a rebuild soon, but regardless of what path that franchise takes, Studnicka should have a much better chance earning a roster spot there than in Boston.

Studnicka was never sent down to the AHL during training camp, the preseason or early in the regular season. He would have needed to clear waivers before reporting to Providence, and given his age/upside, a team probably would have scooped him up.

Losing him for nothing was the worst-case scenario, and Sweeney was confident he could find a trade if needed.

"I didn't have to waive Jack at any time," Sweeney explained. "I knew there were opportunities to explore trades. It was just a matter of one that was right for us, and obviously Vancouver was a good spot and opportunity for Jack."

Why didn't it work out for Studnicka in Boston?

“It’s a good question overall, because his initial onboarding was really good and his trajectory was really good,” Sweeney said. "During the COVID year, which was disjointed for a lot of players, he just kind of stalled just a little bit, and then it was up and down with opportunities, in and out. No fault of Jack’s, but maybe more fault on ours in terms of not being able to just get him fully acclimated to the level that he had been playing at in the AHL and producing. We tried it in different positions, played him on the wing a little bit.

"Just didn’t find the traction when he had his opportunities to really take advantage of it. And I think Jack would admit he didn’t play his absolute best hockey, even the other night. But he’s a great kid. He works awful hard, really cares, probably is hard on himself to allow some mistakes to just pass through. I wish him nothing but the best. He's a super kid."

The Bruins are back in action Friday night against the Blue Jackets in Columbus, where they'll try to improve on a league-best 7-1-0 record.