The Future is Now: On Jayson Tatum and David Pastrnak

The sustained success in Boston sports over the last few years can be largely attributed to athletes sticking around for a while. The most obvious example of this is Tom Brady. Whether he continues to stay with the Patriots or moves on, twenty years and six championships are not something to balk at. However, Tom Brady is not the only athlete that spent a lot of time here. David Ortiz, Paul Pierce, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, and Brad Marchand have all had careers in Boston that have spanned over a decade.

Unfortunately, it may be time to move on from that time. Obviously, the older players from the Bruins are actually still playing but it’s unrealistic to think of them as being the future of the team anymore. Luckily for us though, there are a few young players to get excited about. The Red Sox have the likes of Bogaerts and Devers. They had a third one but let’s not talk about it. It being winter though, I want to shine a spotlight on Jayson Tatum of the Celtics and David Pastrnak of the Bruins.

Jayson Tatum

To say Jayson Tatum has made an improvement from last season would be an understatement. Maybe it was maturity. Maybe it was not having to be in Kyrie’s shadow anymore. Or, maybe it was something completely unrelated.  The reason, however, does not matter. What matters is that he is elevating his play to a superstar level. In February, he averaged 30.7 points a game and was even able to put up 41 points on the Lakers.  This year, he was even named an All-Star for the first time in his career.

With Kemba Walker’s knee injury, Jayson Tatum has had to step up and take the starring role for his team. He’s fit into it rather nicely. This shouldn’t be a surprise to fans. Being the third pick in the draft in 2017, it was pretty easy to see that this was the player Danny Ainge wanted to build a team with. So far, it was a great choice. Especially considering the only two guys that went before him in the draft do not even play for the teams that they were originally drafted to anymore. Now, it’s up to Danny Ainge to make sure he’ll be a Celtic long term. The contract extension that was given to Jaylen Brown this past offseason is a good hint that Ainge is probably planning on extending the second part of the young duo as well this year.

David Pastrnak

It’s hard to remember that David Pastrnak is a young athlete. After all, this is his sixth season with the Bruins. It’s important to remember though that he’s only 23 years old. Pastrnak has been a staple of the perfection line for a while now but this year has been a career year for him. He has already surpassed his career-high goals and there are still sixteen games left in the season. He also leads the entire league at the moment with 47 goals. Right now, he is on the fast track to leading this team for another deep playoff run.

There are three years until Pastrnak becomes a UFA. By that time, it’s possible that some of the older guys will have moved on or will about to be. I think it goes without saying that Pastrnak should be the team’s main priority going further.  There is a huge possibility that he will have a very long NHL career. It would be a real shame if it didn’t all happen in Boston. This is certainly not a fluke year for him as he has been building up to it for his whole career so far. It’s realistic to think that he will continue to improve from here.

Both Tatum and Pastrnak represent the future of Boston sports. Their predecessors have left big shoes for them to fill. Hopefully, they will be able to live up to the legacies of those before them and help continue Boston’s sports dominance for years to come.

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~Mary Evers (@For_Evers_Yong)

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