One thing in Boston Bruins history that has been a constant is having a stud number one defenseman on their blue line. The Bruins have been fortunate to have some of the all-time greats don the black and gold as names like the great Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque, Eddie Shore, and Zdeno Chara are just a few that come to mind when thinking about the long history. Luckily for the bruins, they can continue that list as they hit the jackpot in the 2016 draft when general manager Don Sweeney drafted Charlie McAvoy 14th overall and made him the next great Boston Bruins defenseman. Since making his debut in the first round of the 2016-2017 playoffs, where the then 19-year-old defenseman at the time was thrust into the top pairing next to future Hall of Famer Zdeno Chara, McAvoy has been a constant each season. The progression of McAvoy each season has been remarkable as he continues to come into his own and unlock the offensive potential that awaits him as each season he builds on it.
McAvoy Has Shined This Season
On top of being a defensive stalwart, McAvoy has made spectacular defensive plays and big hits as he uses every inch and pound of his 6’1″ 211 lbs. frame to make his presence known. McAvoy has become known for his puck-moving abilities and offensive output. McAvoy’s ability to make the stretch pass to get the transition from defense to offense is remarkable as he looks to drive offensive production and score quick goals. McAvoy’s ability to run the power play from the top is instrumental in Boston’s success, leading them to rank 10th in the league. McAvoy has eight goals and 42 assists for 50 points for the season, as these are all career highs for the 24-year-old star.
McAvoy Joins Elite List
With his 40th assist in Monday night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, McAvoy joined some elite Bruins company as he became the fourth Bruins defenseman in the past 25 years to reach the 40-assist milestone. McAvoy joins some rare company following in the footsteps of two former teammates and a Boston legend. Torey Krug accomplished the 40 plus assist mark five times between 2015-2016 and 2019-2020, Zdeno Chara did it during the 2011-2012 season, and Hall of Famer Ray Bourque last accomplished it in a Bruins uniform during 1998-1999. This is a pretty impressive list to be a part of as this is just the beginning of McAvoy’s career and many years of production await the 24-year-old blueliner in Boston as he is locked up for eight more years.
McAvoy vs. Hedman Through First 300 Career Games
One comparison stood out when looking at Charlie McAvoy’s career to date, as he skated in his 300th career game last Monday. Victor Hedman has been one of the elite defensemen in the NHL for many years now as the 2017-2018 Norris Trophy winner has separated himself from the middle of the pack as one of the premier puck-moving and offensive-minded defensemen in the league, along with Colorado’s Cale Maker and Nashville’s Roman Josi. When comparing McAvoy to Headman through their first 300 career games, McAvoy’s numbers jump off the page, which leaves Bruins fans excited about what is to come. Through 300 games, Charlie McAvoy has produced 32 goals, 137 assists, a +98 plus-minus, nine power-play goals, 551 hits, and a 23:48 total on ice time a game. These numbers are already eye-popping and special themselves, but they get even better when comparing them to an established veteran and what they were able to accomplish. Through Hedman’s first 300 games, he had 26 goals, 89 assists, -4 plus-minus, two power-play goals, 312 hits, and a 21:48 total on ice time a game. McAvoy came into the league with a better skill set and a more rounded game that has allowed him to become an elite defenseman for Boston right out the gate.
The Future is Bright for Charlie
McAvoy is the future of this organization as the Bruins look to build around him for the new core that will represent Boston once the likes of Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand decide to hang up their skates. The 40-assist mark will be the new norm for McAvoy as his style of play and natural offensive ability will shine each season as he is the focal point and leader of the Boston Bruins defense, not just this season but for the future. For McAvoy, the future is bright as he looks to be the future Captain of the Boston Bruins and one day will bring home a Norris Trophy; for now, as we wait for both to happen, continue to appreciate the skill McAvoy puts on display each game.