The Bruins and Don Sweeney have managed to trade David Backes to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Ondrej Kase. The deal also required the Bruins to part with a first round pick and 2018 2nd round pick Axel Andersson. The Bruins will also continue paying 25% of Backes’ salary.
The Bruins have finally ended the era of David Backes and his god-awful contract. It also nets them potential a top-6 right winger. Backes has 3 points in 16 games, but missed most of the time as a healthy scratch or due to a shoulder injury suffered in a collision with Senators forward Scott Sabourin. Backes has not scored more than 30 points since 2017-2018 when he scored 33. A 50-70 point player in his prime with the St. Louis Blues, Backes was siphoned away when the Bruins gave him a 5 year, 30 million dollar contract during the infamous 2016 off-season which saw Backes, Kyle Okposo (Buffalo), Milan Lucic (Edmonton), Andrew Ladd (NY Islanders), and Loui Eriksson (Vancouver) getting inflated contracts which now look horrible. Backes is far from his prime and at this point, may not even be an NHL-caliber player. Backes struggled to make the NHL lineup, and getting rid of him proved to be a hefty cost.
Axel Andersson was the Bruins 2nd round choice and top overall pick due to the Rick Nash trade. Andersson, a Swedish native, has 22 points for the Moncton Wildcats in the QMJHL, and ranks at number 8 on the Boston Herald prospect ranking. Andersson would likely be blocked by Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, Jeremy Lauzon, Urho Vaakanainen, and Connor Clifton, to name a few, especially if the Bruins resign Torey Krug and Matt Grzelcyk. Andersson is a right shot defenseman, but is still a ways away from his NHL debut at only 20 years old.
The Bruins are getting Ondrej Kase in return. Kase is a lot better than his stats say. The winger has tallied 7 goals and 16 assists for the Ducks to date, which is deflated due to the terrible condition of the Ducks offense. Expect Kase to improve drastically when he plays with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk or Anders Bjork and Charlie Coyle. The 24 year old winger is under contract for next season at a clip of 2.6 million. The Czech Republic native is 2 seasons removed from a 38 point season (20 G, 18 A) and had 20 points (11 G, 9 A) in only 30 games last season. Kase has missed the last five games with an illness but is likely to suit up whenever he reports to the Bruins, whether that be tonight or tomorrow night against Vancouver. Kase will likely slot in as Krejci’s right wing depending on if the Bruins intend to make another move. However, Kase will slot in in the middle 6 forwards after being depended on as a first line winger alongside the aging captain Ryan Getzlaf and young winger Max Jones, who has 11 points.
To David Backes: thank you for your years here. Despite an awful contract, you still managed to have a positive impact on the Boston community and in the locker room. You will be missed, and best of luck in Anaheim.
It is to be seen whether the Bruins will make another move. The remaining options are Kyle Palmieri, Chris Kreider, and Brandon Saad. The loss of a first round pick may complicate things, but will not prevent the Bruins from making a move. Sources have reported that Danton Heinen and John Moore may be on their way out, so whether Sweeney is done is unknown. Stay tuned.
Photo Credits: Steve Babineau, Getty