Breaking: Bruins likely to beat out Wild as they close in on talks to sign $8 million former first-rounder

Breaking: Bruins likely to beat out Wild as they close in on talks to sign $8 million former first-rounder

News broke last week that Jets 2022 first-round pick Rutger McGroarty was seeking a trade, with most assuming that a deal could come across the finish line as soon as a few days ago so Winnipeg could recoup a first-rounder in this year’s draft. It hasn’t happened yet, but there’s still a strong chance he could be moved as the first round kicks off in less than an hour.

The Wild, according to The Athletic’s Michael Russo, are among the teams with serious interest. According to Mike McIntyre of the Winnipeg Free Press, the Bruins are now in talks with Winnipeg regarding McGroarty. McIntyre also stated that the Blue Jackets, Islanders, and Sabres had checked in but have not expressed as strong an interest.

McGroarty was taken 14th overall by Winnipeg in 2022, one pick later than Minnesota’s selection this year (No. 13). The concept of a one-to-one swap makes logical. In exchange for transferring 2023 Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark to the Senators, Boston was able to reclaim their own first-round pick (No. 25), which had been traded to Detroit and Ottawa in the previous 15 months. To acquire McGroarty, they would most likely need to add an additional pick or a comparable asset in the shape of a roster player or prospect.

McGroarty, 20, was one of college hockey’s top performers this season. In his sophomore season at the University of Michigan, he scored 52 points (16 goals, 36 assists) in 36 games, ranking in the top ten in the NCAA. He was nominated for the Hobey Baker Award as the best collegiate hockey player and led the United States to a gold medal at the 2024 World Juniors, scoring five goals and four assists over seven games.

But he wasn’t given a clear role on Winnipeg’s roster next season, and as such, he’s decided to return to Michigan for his junior season rather than play for their AHL affiliate in Manitoba. Of course, he could decide to turn pro after a trade and make his NHL debut for a different team in the fall.

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