Prized Boston Bruins prospect Charlie McAvoy made his NHL debut for the Boston Bruins last postseason out of necessity. The team was dealing with a rash of injuries on the blue line, and McAvoy, the team’s first-round pick in 2016, just happened to be the next man up. At just 19 years of age and with only minimal pro hockey experience on his resume McAvoy found himself playing playing more than 26 minutes per night in the Stanley Cup Playoffs alongside a future Hall of Famer in Zdeno Chara.
Even though the Bruins’ season came to an end in that first-round matchup against the Ottawa Senators, McAvoy showed them a promising glimpse of their future on defense.
Now he is ready for a full-time role with the team this upcoming season.
He spoke to the Bruins’ website this week about that first NHL experience and what he can learn from that when it comes to making the Bruins’ opening night roster this season.
From Eric Russo of the Bruins website.
“I think that the experience I had last year was an unbelievable opportunity,” said McAvoy, who joined 13 of his teammates for a captain’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena on Friday morning.
“That experience was so valuable for myself to get familiar with the organization and the team itself, and I can use that now heading in for the full year, the rookie camp, opening the season, all of those things.
“I’m excited to have a full year and I can definitely use all of those experiences that I had to make sure I’m ready to go.”
McAvoy’s developmemt has to be exciting for the Bruins because their defense, the team’s greatest strength just a few years ago, has taken some significant steps backwards in recent seasons due to trades (Johnny Boychuk and Dougie Hamilton) and age (Chara getting older, Dennis Seidenberg moving on).
But there is hope on the horizon with some of the young talent that has been assembled on the back end.
Torey Krug has developed into one of the most productive offensive defensemen in the league, while Brandon Carlo had a really promising rookie season, appearing in every game and playing at a high level for a 20-year-old.
Now McAvoy is ready to join the picture and give the Bruins another young and potential impact player.
The Bruins have a lot of talent up front with Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Krejci and David Pastrnak (once they get him signed) leading the way, and now they have a pretty strong group of young, offensive minded defensemen that can get the puck to them and help create chances.