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Countdown to Boston Bruins Camp: David Pastrnak

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From now until the beginning of training camp, Boston Hockey Now is profiling players who will be on, or have a chance to be on, the 2022-23 Boston Bruins. Today’s player: David Pastrnak.

Social Media handles: Twitter (@pastrnak96) Instagram (@davidpastrnak)

What Happened Last Year: Pastrnak, 26, had a slow start to last season, but finished with his usual exemplary offensive numbers scoring 40 goals and 77 points in 72 games while generating chemistry with Taylor Hall and Erik Haula as a productive second line.

Pastrnak has now scored 40 plus goals in each of his last two full seasons and topped 30 goals in each of his last five full season while throwing in 20 goals and 48 points in 48 games during the COVID-shortened season a couple of years ago. He’s one of the premier goal-scorers in the best hockey league in the world and he’s just entering what could be the best years of his NHL career with a real chance to become a 50-goal scorer one of these seasons.

Pastrnak finished with three goals and six points in the seven game playoff series against the Carolina Hurricanes, but once again ended a season with the Boston Bruins short of his goal of getting a Stanley Cup championship like the ones that his buddies Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Krejci have on their hockey resumes.

Questions To Be Answered This Season: Is there a question with Pastrnak? Yeah, I think there might be about a $90 million question as Pastrnak enters the final year of his contract with the Boston Bruins prior to hitting unrestricted free agency.

The big question with Pastrnak is whether he’s going to sign with the Bruins, when it might happen and how much it’s going to cost the team if he decides to sign long term. The conventional wisdom for Pastrnak is that he’ll end up as the highest paid player on the Boston Bruins eclipsing the $9.5 million per season that Charlie McAvoy is currently being paid and could be in line for something similar to the eight-year contract that Jonathan Huberdeau signed for with the Calgary Flames for $84 million this summer.

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In Their Words: “Of course. This city is where I got the chance to become the player, I am…become the human being I am, and the Boston organization is an unbelievable part of that. So, I came here as a kid and now I’m a man. So I’m extremely happy and a lot of great memories and I don’t know how many times I said I love it here and it’s an honor to wear this jersey.” –David Pastrnak on if he expects to get a contract extension done with the Boston Bruins.

Overall Outlook: Pastrnak is poised to take ownership of this Boston Bruins team along with Charlie McAvoy as the two players in their 20’s that are arguably the best players on the roster. All he needs to do is sign on the dotted line and commit to being part of the answer for the Black and Gold for the next generation. If a deal gets done in training camp, then it’s blue skies and happy days for everybody, but if it drags on into the regular season then there are going to be concerns it could turn into a Johnny Gaudreau-type situation with the Calgary Flames.

Looking at his last contract, it did get done toward the end of camp after Pastrnak had arrived back in town from Europe. But this will be an eight-year commitment this time around for massive dollars, and it may be that Pastrnak wants to see what kind of shape the Boston Bruins are for the long term before he makes a potentially career-long contract commitment.

No matter what, Pastrnak looks happy, healthy and in great shape to start this season in a contract year and that could bode well for what he does this season for the Boston Bruins. They’re going to need him at his best while missing the rehabbing Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk to start this coming season.

 

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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William Mahoney

If Huberdeau is worth $10 million/year then Pasta will go for more! Without Hall and Pasta the Bruins would be the worst team in hockey.

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