The good news for David Pastrnak — Boston’s first-round pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft — is that his injured shoulder isn’t dislocated.
But that’s about it on the good news front.
Pastrnak, who’s worked his way into roster spot contention with his impressive play, has no timetable for return and isn’t expected to play when Boston opens its preseason campaign against the Canadiens on Tuesday night. The 18-year-old was hurt early in training camp after a collision with Matt Bartkowski, and hasn’t been on the ice since.
“As far as I’m concerned he’s day-to-day, and we’ve still got some time before the start of the regular season,” B’s head coach Claude Julien told CSNNE. “We’ll see when he’s ready to come back. It’s not a dislocated shoulder or anything like that. It’s some kind of a bruised shoulder, so we’ve got to wait to see how it heals.”
While he was a longshot to crack the Bruins this year, Pastrnak did show remarkably well in the club’s rookie tournament — “he really showcased what he’s all about,” Julien told ESPN — and that got some excited about the prospect of him potentially hanging around to start the regular season. What’s more, Reilly Smith is still embroiled in a contract holdout and Pastrnak’s entry-level deal is relatively cheap ($925K cap hit), so the possibility of a fit was there…that said, the B’s were concerned about Pastrnak’s size (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) and ability to handle himself physically before the shoulder injury, and are probably more concerned now.
“Does he have the strength and does he have the experience to be able to overcome the challenges he’s going to be facing?” Julien asked following the rookie tourney. “We won’t know that until training camp starts, so it’s something we’ll keep a close eye on.”