After 14 seasons with the Boston Bruins, unrestricted free-agent forward David Krejci has decided to end his NHL career, and head home to the Czech Republic. Krejci and the Bruins made a statement over Twitter on Friday.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 30, 2021
David Krejci Signs In Czech Republic
The 35-year-old forward just finished up a lucrative six-year deal with an average annual value of $7.25 million with the Boston Bruins. It’s no secret that the entire fanbase appreciates Krejci’s work with the team. He was drafted in 2004 with the 63rd overall pick, and his production as the primarily second-line centre has been extremely consistent. He has tallied 730 points in 962 total career games and produced over 70 points for the second time in his career in the 2018-19 season. His production has started to falter due to increasing age and natural decline, but he has made contributions in other areas outside of the scoresheet.
Per Evolving-Hockey, he is fifth in goals above replacement (GAR) among all Bruins’ players over the last three seasons. He ranks behind Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Charlie McAvoy. His defensive analytics is a huge reason why he is up that high on the leaderboard.
His contributions in the playoffs are excellent as well. In 156 games played, he has 124 points, including 42 goals. Incredibly, he is almost a point per game when it matters most. Krejci is the definition of consistency. He has a track record in both the regular season and playoffs, and he also has a Stanley Cup. He’s a veteran presence with a lot of experience under his belt.
Where Does He Fit in a Lineup?
For the Bruins, Krejci was a consistent second-line presence. He hit it off with another unrestricted free agent in Taylor Hall and former Nashville Predator Craig Smith this past season. With the right players, Krejci could still hit the 50-point plateau. Of course, he could probably centre the first line if necessary, but he’s more of a support player than anything else. Krejci made a tremendous living being the backup to Bergeron that the coaching staff could rely on in big moments, and that is how it should stay. He has excellent awareness in both the offensive and defensive ends of the ice, and his ability to process the game is not something that comes along in every player. His loss will be felt in Boston.