Top 25 Under 25
#9 - Austin Czarnik - F
Where Did He Come From?: Miami of Ohio U, undrafted, signed in March 2015
Has He Played in the NHL?: Yes! 49 Games in 2016
If nothing else, Austin Czarnik’s resume at the NHL level will be a tough one for many of the young guns in Boston’s system to beat.
Having been picked up seemingly out of nowhere from the NCAA, Czarnik’s speed, tenacity, and shot brought a lot of fans to label him a quiet, pleasant surprise in his first trip to the big time. Injuries made sure he’d be a fixture for the team for almost half the year.
He did fine wherever they ended up putting him, which could be anywhere from Left-wing with Spooner to Krejci’s RW in relief of David Backes, as that clip showed, finishing his time in the depth with 13 points. He’d also, coincidentally, be occasionally marred by injury during his time as a Bruin as Radko Gudas took a run at him. Thankfully, he left under his own power that night.
He returned to Providence early in 2017 where he picked up a respectable 23 points in 22 games, and was a moderately productive player in their playoff run.
What does the future look like for Czarnik?
Same as a lot of young forwards in Boston, really. Looking to make the jump, and having a boatload of competition.
It would be impossible for him to make the team playing center, they have that well figured out. His best hope is as a winger, where he’s facing stiff competition from a number of prospects that were both productive elsewhere, in the AHL, and in the Providence playoff run. His principal x-factor right now is how well his camp ends up being and then proving that his NHL experience gives him an edge to stay on the team, because otherwise he’ll likely find himself back in Providence come next year.
He will however, likely be first on the depth chart to replace players on injury, since we definitely know he can do that pretty well. Which would be a huge x-factor.