I wrote this back in January for his midseason report:
At 20 years old, he stands poised to see 50, maybe even 60 points at the NHL level. He is one of the grander steals the Bruins have been able to get via drafting. He’s one of the premiere possession players on Boston with about a year and a half’s worth of experience at the highest level of competition.
As it turns out, even that wasn’t giving him enough credit.
David Pastrnak is everything he’s been built up to be, whether by memes, hype or by genuine good will brought up from small sample sizes. Led the team in scoring for the first third of the year, began diversifying his point total, and finished second in team point total and second in goals scored this year for the Boston Bruins, led the team in power play goals, led the team in OT winners, and was one of the better shooters and drivers of play on a team that was quite stingy with shots this year. Even if he somehow has the tape job with the least amount of effort put in while still having tape on your stick in the NHL.
His creativity and tenacity in front of the net, combined with an innate knack for scoring and creating space, all topped off with a wicked shot made him a potent weapon in both Claude and Butch’s tenures.
What’s made him so valuable is now a year older and a bit more conditioned to NHL play, that initial fearlessness in front of the net is now a confidence. Getting a man open? No problem. Getting past defenders? Absolutely no problem. Net man scramble? He can handle it. Players in front of the goaltender? Pastrnak’s your man for it. Rebounds? Guess who. Few defenders could stop him in any capacity this year and for too long, as his point total proved. He found so many new and interesting ways to score for himself the power play was morphed into a long game of passing to get him open in the left circle so he could take a thundering shot.
In the playoffs, only one other player had as many points as he did, and that was Patrice Bergeron. His goals were especially important, as they typically were the catalysts to comebacks.
But of course, he still has some room to grow, as he is far from good at backchecking and hasn’t had much reason to go about changing that when he’s playing on a line as embarrassingly talented as the first line, but got him into a lot of trouble when playing on the Krejci line. This is an area the kid previously showed some strengths in at the end of last year but it has gone quiet since. On top of that, rookie mistakes often put Pasta in the penalty box, and ended up on a few people’s shitlists for taking the penalty that sealed Boston’s fate this postseason. These are things that happen to rookies, even the good ones. It’ll happen, but to say he didn’t put them in the position where they won those two games would be ludicrous.
So, let’s re-do that paragraph from the midseason grades, because it might as well continue to apply here.
David Pastrnak, at the age of 21, has 70 points at the NHL level. He is absolutely the late round steal of his draft year, and he is the crown jewel of Boston’s current crop of rookies. He is one of Boston’s premiere possession drivers and playmakers with about two years worth of NHL Experience.
Pay THE LEGEND what he is due.
#THELEGEND should absolutely be a mainstay of the Boston Bruins for the forseeable future. To do anything else would be unthinkable or pointlessly risky. This kid is gold.
Games Played: 75
Two goals, Two assists, four points
Final Aggregate CF%: 57.28%
What do you think of Pasta’s grade?
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