The Boston Bruins have had their share of memorable matchups with the Washington Capitals over the years, so fans certainly have a familiarity with Dmitry Orlov, one of the newest members of the team. He arrived in Boston the week before the trade deadline in a three-way deal that sent the Capitals a first-round pick in 2023, a second-round pick in 2025, and a third-round pick in 2024 along with Craig Smith. As part of the deal, the Minnesota Wild retained 25 percent of his salary (Washington kept 50 percent) and sent the rights to Andrei Svetlakov to Boston in exchange for a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft.
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The 31-year-old defenseman is a nice addition to the team’s weakest area, though let’s be honest, the Bruins have been strong in all three (offense, defense, goaltending) this season, contributing to their historic run. Along with his teammate Garnet Hathaway, who was acquired in the same trade, his playing style brings a certain amount of fear to the ice that will be beneficial come the playoffs.
Road to the NHL
Born July 23, 1991, in Novokuznetsk, Russia, Orlov grew up playing for the local club in his hometown. He started gaining some attention in the 2007-08 season, playing internationally for both the U17 and U18 Russian teams. He made his debut in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), the top league in Russia in his draft year, the 2008-09 season. He played 15 games for Metallurg Novokuznetsk and registered one goal and was a plus-1. He also played in seven games for the U18 team at the World Junior Championship and registered four points.
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Orlov was selected in the second round of the 2009 NHL Entry Level Draft at 55th overall (25th pick in the round). While he was taken in the second round, he was seen as a longer-term project due to the nature of defenseman development and the instability between NHL-KHL transfer agreements. He was noted to have excellent hand-eye coordination and was a hard worker who wasn’t afraid to go into the tough areas on the ice.
In the 2010-11 season, after playing 45 games in the KHL, Orlov made the move to North America. As with most European players, it takes some time to adjust to the smaller rink size of the NHL. From the 2011-12 season through the 2014-15 season, he spent some time playing in the American Hockey League (AHL) for the Hershey Bears.