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What Could Happen With David Pastrnak’s Boston Bruins Future

boston bruins forward

Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak will be the most significant talk of the town. With all the other storylines sending shockwaves through the city of Boston, all eyes will be on David Pastrnak. The team’s best scoring threat behind fellow winger Brad Marchand has the rumours surrounding his future. Even though there is a year remaining on his contract, the speculation has already begun.

The Future of The Boston Bruins

Long gone are the days of being the Big Bad Bruins. An identity that shaped who they were when they won the Stanley Cup in 2011. After being a perennial contender under former head coach Claude Julien, the Boston Bruins were headed for a possible rebuild. Missing the postseason for two seasons, things seemed to be heading in a different direction. Bruce Cassidy took over and the Bruins have become perennial contenders once again as they clinched a playoff spot for six straight seasons. And with the firing of Bruce Cassidy, all signs are now pointing to a rebuild. The window for winning a championship is closed and therefore 2019 was the last true crack at it. The core group of Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, and Tuukka Rask is officially gone. Dark days could be looming ahead for the Boston Bruins. It’s going to get worse before it can get better again.

Who Is David Pastrnak?

The Boston Bruins struck gold in the 2014 draft. With the 25th overall selection, the Boston Bruins selected the Czech forward. He has been a mainstay in the Bruins lineup since his rookie season. After losing top wingers Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, having Pastrnak succeed the way he has softened the blow. He has had instant success and makes up 1/3 of one of the best lines in the entire league.

The Boston Bruins forward has skated in over 500 games in the black and gold. In 510 games played, the forward has 240 goals, 264 assists, and a total of 504 points. That’s good for 0.99 points per game, which is extremely good and shows the consistency in his game. For the majority of his playing career in Boston, playoff hockey has been part of him. In 72 games played in the playoffs, he has 40 goals, 37 assists and 77 points. His 1.06 points per game in the playoffs is eye-opening. According to Stat Muse, he has surpassed 30 goals 3 times and has surpassed 40 goals twice. If not for the pandemic, he would’ve surpassed 50 in the 2019-20 season. Pastrnak has hit the 70-point benchmark twice and 80 points twice. His best season came during that 2019-20 season when he tallied up 95 points.

Despite starting the 2021-22 season looking not like his usual self, Pastrnak turned it on and had a great season. In 72 games he had 40 goals, 37 assists and 77 points. He went on to finish the season averaging 3.45 points per 60 minutes and finish with a Corsi for percentage of 64%, which was good for the team lead. Pastrnak would have a goals for percentage of 61%, and an expected goals against of 31.87.

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Speculation Surrounding the Bruins Forward

The rumour mill has already begun in Boston. The team has been dealt blow after blow. And all eyes are on David Pastrnak. The star forward has one year remaining on his contract and can sign as early as July, but the question is does he want to stay in Boston?

The team will be without top players Charlie McAvoy, Brad Marchand, and Matt Grzelcyk to begin the season. Captain Patrice Bergeron has not decided whether to play or retire, and there will be a new boss behind the bench. With all that going on, the question remains if he wants to stick around and be part of a rebuild or does he want to contend for a championship. He has watched his last two best friends Torey Krug and David Krejci walk away from Boston and many wonder if he will do the same.

Don Sweeney has said he and Pastrnak will begin contract talks on July 1. But if he doesn’t want to stay in Boston, Don Sweeney will have to trade the star player instead of risking losing him for nothing. He is the biggest trade chip in his pocket and the return would be significant. Pastrnak is 26 years old and carries a cap hit of $6.7 million, which is extremely team-friendly. And if that trade happens, all signs are pointed to a rebuild in Boston.

Trade Value

Don Sweeney will want to capitalize on a return for his star winger if he does indeed trade him. A fair value return for David Pastrnak is a first-round pick and top-tier prospects. The Bruins do not have much in the pipeline that could impact the roster, and if you are headed for a rebuild, that would be the place to start. The Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils have a wealthy prospect pool, and the Devils also own the number two overall pick in this year’s draft. It will take that type of ammunition to land a player of his calibre and those two teams are examples of who can potentially pull this off.

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The Contract

The last time, David Pastrnak was not concerned about the money and was happy to be playing the game he loves so much. Don Sweeney worked his magic as he has with all his other in-house players. This time around could be a different song and dance. Pastrnak could easily command $8-$9M on the open market and maybe even more. Even if you are Don Sweeney, you may have to pay that much this time.

A good benchmark to use would be Artemi Panarin. Panarin signed with the New York Rangers and carries an AAV of $11.8M. Why would Pastrnak look toward this as a comparable?

David Pastrnak is only one year younger than Panarin. The numbers both players have put up are fairly similar. In 508 games played Panarin has 187 goals, 382 assists and 569 points. He is well north of being a point-per-game player. In 510 games, Pastrnak has 504 points.

Both played postseason hockey. And David Pastrnak has put up better numbers in the postseason averaging 1.06 points per game compared to Panarin, who has 0.92 points per game.

Both are high-calibre scoring wingers and are both dynamic and skillful. Since the 2017 season, Artemi Panarin ranks sixth overall in point totals, whereas David Pastrnak ranks 15th. Given the deal Panarin received, and the age gap is close, this is a good benchmark for him to look at if he’s going to secure the bag.

Whoever signs the man will be getting a top-scoring threat and a player who can jumpstart a top lineup. Players of his skill set and resume don’t grow on trees or come around often. And all eyes are now on Don Sweeney and Cam Neely and the direction they go. If it is indeed a rebuild, this will be the first domino to fall.

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