It sure looks like the list of potential suitors for the services of Austin Czarnik is a pretty lengthy one.
The 25-year-old center, who first signed with the Bruins in 2015, is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. And according to Mark Divver of the Providence Journal, there is high demand for the speedy forward.
"Overwhelming" interest in #NHLBruins UFA Austin Czarnik, according to agent Brian Bartlett. "Over two-thirds of the teams in the league have called"— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) June 25, 2018
Czarnik has been one of the best players in the American Hockey League over the last three years, and finished third in the league with 69 points this past season. In 157 games with Providence, he has 51 goals and 104 assists. He also played a big role on the P-Bruins squad that went to the 2017 Eastern Conference Final.
However, Czarnik has not been able to carry that production into the NHL, as he only has five goals and twelve assists in 59 career games with the big club. But with an increased role, there is no reason to believe that Czarnik is not capable of becoming an everyday NHL player.
Of course, this report does not necessarily mean the Bruins are out of the running to retain the young forward, but it really all depends on what moves the Bruins make (or do not make) this week. The team still has to make a decision on Riley Nash, who spent most of the 2017-2018 campaign as the third line center. And with all this John Tavares buzz, who knows what the Bruins might look like next week?
If the Bruins lose Nash (Riley, not Rick), I could seriously see Czarnik staying put, but it still remains to be seen.
Czarnik put in a lot of work during three seasons in Providence, and has shown flashes in Boston that would make him a nice addition to the bottom six. But if there are offers elsewhere, I would not blame him at all for jumping on another opportunity, especially if it means more time in the big league.