It’s no secret Charlie McAvoy has been a force on the ice for the Boston Bruins this season. He scores, he fights, he racks up assists and he’s not afraid to make a big hit.
I think it was pretty obvious watching him at Boston University and in the World Juniors that he was going to be good. But I don’t think anyone expected him to be this good.
The defenseman was selected 14 overall by the B’s in the 2016 NHL draft and decided to forgo the rest of his NCAA career just last year. Although many thought he would begin his NHL entry-level contract at the beginning of the 2017-18 season, the Bruins had other plans for McAvoy.
Back in April, when the Bruins were preparing for their playoff series against the Ottawa Senators, the team announced they signed McAvoy to a three-year entry-level contract after playing just three games with the Providence Bruins.
It was obvious Boston saw the potential in McAvoy and knew he could make an impact for the team heading into the playoffs.
And he did just that – playing a total of 24:11 in Game 1, which was the second-highest on the team behind their captain Zdeno Chara. He also had two blocked shots and a plus-1 rating.
McAvoy had a lot of hype around him going into the 2017-18 season, especially with how the Bruins are rebuilding around their youth – and the defenseman is at the core of that group. And so far, he has not disappointed.
Through 34 games, McAvoy has 19 points with 14 assists, five goals, and a plus/minus of seven. He scored the game-winner in a shootout on his 20 birthday just last week against the Winnipeg Jets and has a Gordie Howe hat trick this season.
He’s also had game-winning goals two other times – meaning four points the Bruins have are thanks to McAvoy.
He’s really done it all for the B’s so far. He’s a lot of fun to watch and it makes it a little extra special that he played at BU – so the Bruins fans have already had their eyes on him for a while.
The talented two-way defenseman has also had his name thrown around for the Calder Trophy. He’s sixth on the team in points, fourth in plus/minus rating and leads all defensemen on the B’s with five power play points.
It’s tough to imagine the team without McAvoy and it makes you wonder where they would be if he was still at BU or even with the Providence Bruins.
Fans have long said Boston needs a good defensive player. Chara is not the player he once was and his age has certainly slowed him down. Torey Krug, although underrated this season, doesn’t seem to be making the impact he was thought to have.
Now Bruins fans can look at McAvoy as a strong, two-way defensive player. A player the Bruins have so desperately needed over the years. A player that can score, get to the front of the net, make the big hits and not be afraid to occasionally drop the gloves.
McAvoy has shown a lot of potential to be a franchise defenseman in the short amount of time he’s been here. He will only continue to grow and perfect his game. He’ll learn from Chara, Krug and even veterans such as David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
Hopefully the Bruins front office will see the talent they have in a player like McAvoy for years to come. Because the best part about the defenseman? Besides his ability to make a strong impact on the ice?
He’s just 20-years-old.
Written by: Lauren Campbell (@lalalalaurrrren)