NHL rumors: Could Lawson Crouse be target for Bruins before trade deadline?


Star defenseman Jakob Chychrun has been the subject of several recent NHL trade rumors with playoff races heating up, but he's not the only Arizona Coyotes player drawing interest around the league.

Sportsnet's Jeff Marek reported Saturday night an update on Chychrun's situation in Arizona, and at the end he noted that there's also interest in Coyotes forwards Phil Kessel and Lawson Crouse. Marek said "Boston has always been attached to that name (Crouse)."

What could Crouse give the Bruins if they acquired him via trade?

Should Bruins pay this reported asking price for Coyotes' Jakob Chychrun?

Crouse is a big, physical player at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds who plays the kind of power-forward style that Bruins fans love. He's not the most gifted offensive player, but he's not afraid to go to the dirty areas of the ice and score greasy goals. Crouse has tallied 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in 32 games this season.

Crouse was the No. 10 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft by the Florida Panthers -- four picks ahead of where the Bruins chose Jake DeBrusk. Maybe the Bruins could work out a deal where these forwards swap teams? 

Both players are restricted free agents in July. Crouse's qualifying offer is just $1.75 million, while DeBrusk's is much higher at about $4.4 million. DeBrusk has posted just nine points (five goals, four assists) in 27 games. He requested a trade at the end of November. A fresh start would benefit each player.

The Coyotes are at the bottom of the league standings amid another rebuild. They are stockpiling draft picks and prospects, which makes them a team to watch closely as the trade deadline approaches.

Crouse's physicality and ability to score 10 to 15 goals in a bottom-six role should make him an attractive target for contending teams over the next few months.

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