Taylor Hall, a 29-year-old former Hart Trophy winner, was having arguably his worst season of his 11-year career this season. Hall signed an illustrious contract with the Buffalo Sabres on October 12, inking a one-year $8 million deal with Buffalo for the 2020-21 season.
In the 37 games he played for the Sabres, he put up a measly two goals and 26 points, a career low of 0.51 points per game. It seemed as if all hope was lost to getting Hall back to 2017-18 form.
This was until April 12, when it was announced that Buffalo was trading Hall to their longtime rival, the Boston Bruins. The Bruins and Sabres have been in the same division since the Sabres’ inception in 1970 and they’ve met in the Stanley Cup playoffs eight times. Despite this, the Sabres still traded the 2010 first overall pick to their divisional opponent.
The Bruins traded a 2022 second-round pick and Anders Bjork for Hall and Curtis Lazar, who was nursing an injury at the time. However, Hall has proved to be everything that Boston bargained for.
Though he has a small sample size of only 11 games in a Bruins sweater, he has heavily impressed in his short tenure. Hall doubled his goal total for the season in only his third game played for Boston and has since tripled it, netting five goals for the Bruins in the few games he’s played thus far.
While five goals may not be a mind-boggling amount, it shows drastic improvement from Hall, who’s showing that he can take the Bruins’ offense to the next level. Hall actually leads the Bruins in goals per 60 minutes, with a whopping 5.1, proving he’s not washed up after all.
Before trading for Hall, Boston was in dire need of depth scoring. The Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak line has been expectedly elite, combining for 65 goals and look to be one of the best lines in hockey.
With the addition of Hall, it allows the B’s to not solely rely on their top line to do all the work. Thanks to the addition of Taylor Hall, the Bruins have gone 9-2 since the trade deadline and are in good position to get a playoff spot, just one point behind the New York Islanders.