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In his first season with the Boston Bruins, Derek Forbort rounded out the bottom pairing played as expected for a stay-at-home defenseman type. He helped the B’s by sacrificing his body with numerous blocked shots out front and in that shut-down role.
He worked well on the third pairing and was big the penalty kill.
The B’s signed Forbort to a three-year deal last summer. Needing help on the left side, Forbort was as advertised. He was a big body who was strong along the defensive boards.
Forbort primarily helped the Bruins out with blocked shots last season. Those were most apparent on the penalty kill, not allowing shots from the point to get through. He also made a difference in tight games at the end of third periods because he wasn’t afraid to use his body to hold onto leads.
Over the course of the regular season, he blocked 100 total shots.
The Bruins had some unexpected secondary scoring from him in November when he added three goals in five games, including a two-goal game on November 20, 2021 in a win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
He registered four goals this season – a career high. Although Forbort is a defensive defenseman, his rockets on net found holes through deflections and screens.
Forbort had a strong postseason for the Bruins. In particular, he was the unsung hero in Game 3 of the first round against the Carolina Hurricanes.
The defenseman had nine blocks in that game alone. He was a factor on the PK in Game 3, helping the Bruins kill off all five penalties and sacrificing his body in the 4-2 win.
In total, he blocked 18 shots that series.
Overall, he was pretty much did what the Bruins expected to get out of him. He wasn’t immune to defensive breakdowns, but neither was the defense as a whole last season. He overall worked well on the third pairing and was a defensive defenseman best in that stay-at-home role.
Forbort wasn’t perfect, and he wasn’t going to be the type to create as much offense like Charlie McAvoy or Hampus Lindholm – even though he had that stretch of scoring and points at the beginning of the season.
For the upcoming season, the defense are going to be without Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk to begin. Forbort will likely continue to be used on the penalty kill and eat up some minutes in their absence.