The Bruins have acquired defenseman Colby Cohen from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for fellow blueliner Matt Hunwick. Cohen (pictured), a former Boston University standout, will report to Boston’s minor league affiliate in Providence.
GM Peter Chiarelli confirmed that by trading Hunwick ($1.45 million annual cap hit), the Bruins can activate Marc Savard from long-term injured reserve and be cap compliant.
The 21-year-old Cohen, who is in his first full professional season, made his NHL debut November 6, playing three games. He also registered one goal and 12 penalty minutes in 14 games for
Colorado’s minor league affiliate in Lake Erie.
Cohen played three seasons with the Terriers (2007-10), leading coach Jack Parker’s squad to the NCAA title in 2009. In his college career, the 6-foot-2-inch, 200-pounder had 25 goals and 53 assists in 118 games. He was a second-round pick of the Avs in the 2007 NHL Draft.
Hunwick struggled this season with the Bruins, compiling a goal, two assists, and nine penalty minutes in 22 games. In 164 NHL games with the Bruins, he has totaled 13 goals and 32 assists.
It is a risky move considering Hunwick was arguably the team’s most natural skater and one of the only puck-rushers on the back end. The Bruins have become very predictable in their D-to-D breakouts and have struggled to retrieve pucks. Without Hunwick, the group would presumably become weaker in the puck-moving department.
“It’s the reality,” Chiarelli said of swapping out Hunwick’s salary for a prospect. “It’s never fun. We are confident in our defensive pipeline, in the very near future, that we can use those prospects. We’ve got three or four young D who are pushing. We can use those to replace some of the stuff that Matt brought.”
The Bruins will stick with six defensemen for now. Adam McQuaid, who had been a healthy scratch, will be the No. 6 defenseman. Chiarelli referred to Matt Bartkowski, Steve Kampfer, Andrew Bodnarchuk, and Jeff Penner as AHL prospects capable of pushing for NHL jobs in the future.