Key Dates for the Bruins During 2023 NHL Offseason

Key dates, events for Bruins during 2023 NHL offseason originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The 2023 NHL offseason came much, much earlier than expected for the Boston Bruins, but the reality is they have a lot of tough decisions to make in regards to their roster over the next couple months.

The Bruins have more than 10 free agents this summer, including several important players such as Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Tyler Bertuzzi and Jeremy Swayman. With limited salary cap space and a severe lack of draft picks, the Bruins have a challenging path to building a championship-caliber roster for the 2023-24 campaign.

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Here are the key offseason events and dates for Bruins fans to circle on their calendar going into September. 

NHL Scouting Combine

Date: Sunday, June 4 through Saturday, June 10

Location: HarborCenter, Buffalo

Why it's important: This event gives teams a great opportunity to get an up-close look at the top prospects in the upcoming draft, including physical testing and in-person interviews.

NHL Awards

Date: Monday, June 26

Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville

Why it's important: The Bruins will be well-represented at the NHL Awards show. They have four finalists for the major awards. It's important to remember that all the awards given out June 26 are for regular season performance only. 

  • Selke Trophy (Best defensive forward): Patrice Bergeron
  • Vezina Trophy (best goalie): Linus Ullmark
  • Hart Trophy (MVP): David Pastrnak
  • Jack Adams Award (best coach): Jim Montgomery

Bergeron is a strong favorite to win the Selke Trophy for a record sixth time. Ullmark led all goalies in wins, save percentage (.938) and GAA (1.89), making him a heavy favorite for the Vezina. Montgomery is also a strong favorite for the Jack Adams after leading the Bruins to the most wins (65) and points (135) of any team in league history. Pastrnak finished second in goals with 62 and tallied 113 points but it would be a massive surprise if he wins the Hart. Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid is the overwhelming favorite after leading the league in goals (64) and points (153).

It's good that the Bruins will be recognized for their historic regular season, but it's going to be an awkward night for them given how their playoff run ended in embarrassing fashion. It'll be similar to what the Tampa Bay Lightning players went through at the 2019 NHL Awards after they were swept in the first round as the Presidents' Trophy winners.


NHL Draft

Date: Wednesday, June 28 (first round), Thursday, June 29 (Round 2-7)

Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville

Why it's important: The Bruins don't have a first-, second-, or fifth-round pick in this year's draft. These picks were dealt away in various trade deadline moves in recent years. While most of those trades made sense at the time and should have been made, it does leave the Bruins without many chances to improve a prospect pool that ranks among the league's worst

The Bruins have drafted better in recent seasons, which is encouraging for the franchise, but they'll really need their scouting staff to come through over the next two years because the team doesn't have a first-rounder until 2025 and no second-rounders until 2026. Nailing the mid-round picks will be essential for the B's during that span.

NHL Free Agency

Date: Saturday, July 1 at noon ET

Location: N/A

Why it's important: The Bruins have less than $10 million in cap space and more than 10 of their own players able to hit free agency. This means they are unlikely to be much of a factor on the open market. And, honestly, it's probably for the best. Bottom-six forward spots should be filled from within. Prospects such as John Beecher, Georgii Merkulov, Jakub Lauko and potentially Fabian Lysell could all get a chance to play in the NHL at some point next season. 

If the Bruins make a significant roster change, it'll probably come via the trade market and not free agency. They just don't have enough cap space to pursue the top guys. It's also important to point out that the 2023 free agent class is pretty weak overall, and many of the best players expected to be available are nearing the end of their prime or past it entirely (Patrick Kane, Ryan O'Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko, etc.).

Development Camp

Date: Monday, July 3 through Friday, July 7

Location: Warrior Ice Arena, Brighton

Why it's important: Development camp is a great opportunity for prospects to get a little taste of what life is like at the NHL level and check in with Bruins management to go over goals and objectives for the upcoming season. It also allows B's management to analyze these prospects on and off the ice and gauge the progress they've made since being drafted.

Prospect Matthew Poitras

Rookie Camp

Date: Wednesday, Sept. 13 through Monday, Sept. 18

Location: HarborCenter, Buffalo

Why it's important: The rookie camp, and the tournament(s) that happens during the week, are a good opportunity for prospects to show off their skills and improve their chances of being invited to training camp.

Training Camp

Date: Begins Wednesday, Sept. 20

Location: Warrior Ice Arena, Brighton

Why it's important: Roster battles are typically the focus of training camp, and because the Bruins have so many veteran free agents who could depart over the summer, we could see lots of competition for jobs in September, especially among bottom-six forwards. If the Bruins lose Bergeron and/or Krejci in the offseason, training camp will be an important time for Pavel Zacha and Charlie Coyle -- the best internal candidates for top-six center roles -- to build chemistry with their new linemates.

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