JUST IN: The Flyers are poised to acquire Linus Ullmark from the Bruins before the……..

Five weeks after storing their Zamboni in Causeway’s summer shed, the Bruins are now preparing for a potentially significant few days in Las Vegas alongside the NHL’s 31 other clubs gathered for the Friday-Saturday entry draft at the impressive Sphere entertainment complex.

For the Bruins, the draft itself is expected to be relatively quiet since general manager Don Sweeney doesn’t have a pick until Saturday’s fourth round (No. 121). However, this could change dramatically if Sweeney decides to initiate trades involving roster players, including the long-discussed possibility of trading goalie Linus Ullmark.

Ullmark has one year left on his four-year, $20 million contract signed when he joined as a free agent in July 2021. Given the short duration remaining on his contract, it’s improbable but not impossible that another team might offer Sweeney a first-round pick for the Swedish goaltender. The optimal time for such a trade would have been last year when Ullmark was fresh off winning the Vezina Trophy and had two years left on his contract. However, any potential trade partners would still be restricted to cities Ullmark has approved for a trade, a list that has remained confidential.

Six teams—Chicago, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, Philadelphia, and San Jose—head to Vegas with two first-round picks each. Ottawa holds pick No. 25, which the Bruins traded to Detroit during the 2023 deadline to acquire Tyler Bertuzzi. Detroit subsequently sent it to Ottawa in the Alex DeBrincat deal.

Among these teams, Philadelphia could be particularly intriguing as a trade partner. If not for the absence of goaltender Carter Hart due to legal issues, the Flyers might have reached the playoffs. They hold the 12th and 32nd overall picks in the first round. Would it be worthwhile for Philadelphia to give up the 32nd pick for the remaining year of Ullmark’s contract? On the surface, it seems like a logical move, but Ullmark’s trade preferences are still unknown.

The Flyers finished just four points below the Eastern Conference wild-card cutoff this season. Ullmark, who turns 31 in July, and fellow Swede Samuel Ersson, who turns 25 in October, could potentially form a solid goaltending tandem. This move could be seen as a calculated risk by the Flyers, considering they would have Ullmark for the 2024-25 season and the opportunity to negotiate an extension.

In addition to Ullmark, the Flyers have reportedly expressed interest in moving on from Cam Atkinson, a former Boston College star winger whose productivity declined last season. Atkinson, who can play on either wing and has been effective on the power play throughout his career, could potentially fill a second or third-line role for the Bruins for a season if Philadelphia covers half of his $5.87 million salary for the remaining year of his contract.

The draft is expected to begin with the Sharks selecting Macklin Celebrini, the Hobey Baker Award-winning forward from Boston University. Celebrini is likely to turn professional immediately and join the Sharks’ lineup or return to BU for his sophomore season before joining the Sharks in 2025.

Whether it’s immediate impact or long-term planning, Celebrini faces the challenge of joining a struggling Sharks team that has missed the playoffs for five consecutive seasons. The situation parallels that of Clayton Keller, another BU standout who joined the Coyotes at 18 after his freshman season with the Terriers.

Looking ahead, the Bruins may consider extending Ullmark’s contract by three or four years while promoting Providence goaltender Brandon Bussi, who turns 26 next Tuesday.

Trading Jeremy Swayman would be a bold move for Sweeney, potentially comparable in impact to the franchise-altering deal of November 7, 1975, when GM Harry Sinden traded Phil Esposito and Carol Vadnais to the Rangers for Jean Ratelle and Brad Park. While all were significant names, they were older players which mitigated some of the risk.

In summary, the Bruins head to Las Vegas for the draft with limited draft capital but the potential for significant roster moves, particularly involving Ullmark and potentially other key players like Swayman or Atkinson. The decisions made in the coming days could reshape the team’s trajectory for the upcoming season and beyond.

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