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The Boston Bruins had slightly more than $21 million in cap space heading into this offseason. They were able to add depth players and complete their roster by using about $14 million of their available cap space. Later in the offseason, Boston was able to save the necessary cap space in order to finalize a deal involving star goalie Jeremy Swayman.

Don Sweeney added much-needed pieces to the team to cover their open roster spots. Most importantly, they are all ready to make an impression right now. The signing of Nikita Zadorov and Elias Lindholm from the Vancouver Canucks were the two biggest decisions. Let’s examine how the Bruins roster will be strengthened for the upcoming campaign by these two players and other depth pieces they acquired.

How Will the Team Be Affected by the Bruins’ Free Agent Signings?
Lindholm Elias
At the beginning of free agency, the Bruins showed initiative by signing center Elias Lindholm to a seven-year, $7.75 million contract. The forward, 29, had a disappointing season with Vancouver despite not playing as much of a major role as he did with the Calgary Flames. The 2021–2022 season was Lindholm’s best ever season. Lindholm was a plus 61 and scored 42 goals, 40 assists, and one point per game. In contrast to flashy play, Lindholm is renowned for his two-way play style and his attempt to do everything. Although he has a track record of making a significant contribution on the second line, he will probably slide into the first-line center position for the Bruins, playing alongside Pavel Zacha and David Pastrnak.

This past season, Boston’s center depth was a problem. Additionally, their faceoff percentage was among the lowest of any team in the league. At the faceoff dot, he will be able to increase the team’s numbers. Elias Lindholm’s acquisition gives the team’s forward core the top-6 center they desperately needed. He’ll play a big part in the team’s overall defensive approach and set up opportunities for his teammates to score.

Zadorov, Nikita
The Bruins knew going into the offseason that defensemen Derek Forbort and Matt Grzelcyk would probably be leaving. Don Sweeney knew he needed to make a big splash in the free agency market to land another defenseman after the departures of the two left-handed players. One spot in the Bruins’ core defense is available because Mason Lohrei demonstrated last season that he is prepared for the next level. Nikita Zadorov, a 6’6 defenseman, was able to sign a 6-year, $5 million contract with Boston, keeping him under contract until he is 35. Zadorov, who was traded from Calgary to the Canucks during the previous season’s trade deadline, is coming off of an incredible season with both the Flames and the Canucks.

In addition, he gives the Bruins a physical play style that complements their style of play and has been lacking in previous seasons following the departure of Zdeno Chara. Because he isn’t afraid to fight in the corners, Zadorov will be a major asset to the team’s penalty kill. In the defensive zone, he can keep an active stick. The addition of Zadorov will allay the Bruins’ desire to emulate previous Bruins teams by becoming more physically dominant. Zadorov will slide in next to Andrew Peeke or Brandon Carlo to bolster the team’s bottom four defensive core. The team’s defensive play and physicality in the defensive zone will be immediately affected by Zadorov. For a player who is 6’6,” he contributes with excellent defensive positioning and skating ability.

Mark Kastelic and Max Jones
The Bruins were able to add more depth players for the lower half of their lineup in addition to those two acquisitions. In exchange for Linus Ullmark, they acquired Mark Kastelic from the Ottawa Senators. Arizona-born Kastelic is a youthful center. He has a reputation for being a reliable faceoff taker, having taken 56.3 percent of the faceoffs in his career to date. Kastelic is a very reliable player in the defensive zone and a very hard worker. He is also capable of hard forechecking and fighting in unclean areas. He will play a crucial role as a gritty forward on the team’s fourth line and in the penalty kill. Last season, the Bruins sorely lacked this gritty play.

Max Jones, a depth winger, was also able to sign a two-year, million-dollar contract with Boston. Max Jones, who recently signed with the Blackhawks, will take Pat Maroons’ place. He can play other positions in the lineup, but as the team’s fourth-line checking forward, he is a perfect fit. Jones is a gritty forward who enjoys going to the net, much like Kastelic. Jones closes out hits when they’re needed. His ability to contribute on both ends of the rink and elevate the play of his teammates makes him a perfect fit for the Bruins’ style of play.

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