The Boston Bruins need a player like Ottawa Senators defenseman Jakob Chychrun, who could be available on the trade market this offseason. It's hard for a team to overachieve a year after setting almost every regular-season record in NHL history, but the Bruins found themselves in a tailspin after getting upset in the first round of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Boston's longtime dynamic duo of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci down the middle retired, leaving Brad Marchand as their captain and a bottom-six forward group pieced together with $1 million contracts. The Bruins planned to punt this season, looking forward to an abundance of cap space during the 2024 offseason, but they ended up leading the Atlantic Division for most of the year before a late push by the Florida Panthers gave them the division crown.

The Bruins advanced past the first round after a Game 7 overtime victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs before they ended up getting bounced by the Panthers in six games in the second round. The loss to the Panthers isn't a reason for concern after seeing how they've dominated every team this postseason, but the Bruins need to get back on the Panthers level to contend in the Atlantic Division moving forward.

Boston will likely lose Derek Forbort, Matt Grzelcyk, and Kevin Shattenkirk in free agency, leaving them with a group of blue liners that includes Parker Wotherspoon and a young Mason Lohrei on the left side. Adding Chychrun could give the Bruins one of the deepest defense corps in the league, alongside Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, and Hampus Lindholm.

What would it take for the Bruins to acquire Chychrun from the Senators? Let's take a closer look at that question and create a trade package that could convince Ottawa to move off of their talented defender.

Is Linus Ullmark even an option for the Bruins in a Jakob Chychrun trade?

The Bruins hoped to offload Linus Ullmark during the 2024 NHL trade deadline, but Ullmark reportedly nixed a potential deal thanks to a no-trade clause in his contract. Trading Ullmark to Ottawa is a good idea in concept, but Boston is powerless if he is unwilling to get traded there. Would Ullmark want to go to a rebuilding Senators team that doesn't appear to be improving despite having a lot of young talent at their disposal?

The aforementioned reports from the trade deadline suggested that Ullmark refused a deal that would have seen him get dealt to the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings were on their way to the playoffs, and he would get to live in sunny California. It's hard to believe he'd turn down that deal but accept a move to Kanata, Ontario, a remote suburb where the Sens play their home games.

The Senators need a goaltender after they signed Joonas Korpisalo in free agency last offseason, only to watch him endure a rough first campaign with the team. Ottawa could persuade Ullmark to waive his no-trade clause to join their team, but that feels unlikely. Plenty of folks are discussing a Ullmark for Chychrun swap, but the Bruins might need to look at other options to trade. The better course for the Bruins may be to trade away a pick and a prospect for Chychrun and then use Ullmark in a trade elsewhere to recoup some of those assets.

Bruins don't have many prospects that will interest Senators

Ottawa Senators goaltender Anton Forsberg (31) makes a save in front of Boston Bruins center Pavel Zacha (18) and defenseman Jakob Chychrun (6) during the third period at TD Garden.
Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The problem with that train of thought is that the B's have one of the worst prospect groups in the NHL. Two of their best offensive players are in the AHL in Fabian Lysell and Georgii Merkulov, but Boston can't be in the business of trading away young talent after their offense fizzled out once again this postseason.

However, there's no guarantee that Lysell or Merkulov will pan out at the NHL level. Merkulov was a shot in the dark out of college, as the Russian wasn't believed to have much potential. Merkulov has been a star in the AHL, though, averaging nearly a point per game this past season, but he has zero points in four games at the NHL level. Teams across the league may think of him highly, but the Bruins must convince the Senators that he is worth trading Chychrun for.

If the Senators wouldn't take Merkulov, the Bruins would have to weigh trading Lysell. Lysell is also a near-point-per-game player in the AHL, but injury concerns have prevented him from joining Boston to this point. The Bruins need scoring help, so the 2024-25 campaign could finally be the year where he makes the jump to the league. He'd help Ottawa's roster immediately and join their young core, but the Senators must be convinced that adding a young scorer is their best path forward in any potential trade involving Chychrun.

The Bruins lack of prospect depth is due in large part to the fact that they have been trading away their first-round picks for years in an effort to keep their playoff window open. It'd be tough to trade their 2025 or 2026 first-rounder to get this deal done, but it could set them up to continue being contenders for the foreseeable future. It also wouldn't be out of the picture to suggest they could get a first-round pick or a top prospect in return for Ullmark in another trade if he didn't approve of a trade to Ottawa.

Here is the proposed trade to acquire Jakob Chychrun:

Senators receive: Fabian Lysell, Bruins 2025 1st-round draft pick

Bruins receive: Jakob Chychrun

The Senators get another young scorer and a first-round draft pick, which they could hold onto or use in their quest to find a starting goaltender. The Bruins get a top-four defenseman alongside McAvoy, Carlo, and Lindholm, giving them one of the deepest units in the league.