David Pastrnak - RW
For approximately four games individually this year, there were some who had concerns about David Pastrnak’s performance in comparison to his new contract, freshly minted for 6.67 million a year until 2022.
It didn’t take long for David Pastrnak to prove he was worth every single penny of that deal in 2017-18.
Pastrnak’s team leading 35 goals were earned through that same level of general fearlessness in position, creativity in his passing and shooting, and skill that he’s always had, though now the Bruins had an unusual luxury with him that they had with no other player this year: He was there from day one, all the way to game 82; the only player on the Boston Bruins this year to do so. He could be reliably counted on to produce. And produce he did. To the point that many shifts on the power play and even 5-on-5 against teams having rough years essentially boiled down to a shockingly effective strategy: Get Pasta open in the circle, draw players away from him, pass, then let him roof it.
Of course, that wasn’t the only way he could score.
As is the recent tradition for leading goalscorers in Boston, Pasta got to score some real fun, tricky, and downright odd goals from all over the ice, many from angles that had zero place going in, such as scoring on Carey Price (and a couple of other goaltenders) while being essentially parallel to the goal line, and making some of the best in the world at the position look like they were back in junior. And he had fun doing it the whole time.
To say nothing of the Round 1, Game 2 murderfest that Pasta put down on the Toronto Maple Leafs. Where his luck and his skill so overwhelmed his opponent that he walked away with six points in one night in a playoff game, becoming the youngest player ever to do so.
Oh yeah, did we mention that Pastrnak couldn’t stop finding ways to score in the postseason? Because your point-leader in the playoffs was in fact David Pastrnak, being 3rd on the team in CF%, tied for team lead in goals, and led in assists. The kid was just phenominal.
While he couldn’t get the ultimate prize, he received consolation in being a two-time golden stick winner for best czech hockey player, and will likely be in the top billing for it again in 2018-19, because the highs he’s reaching are nothing short of spectacular.
Aggregate Grade: A+
We’re only a quarter-kidding when we call this kid a legend in his lifetime like we do, and if he has more seasons like this, then the Bruins could really have something special on their hands.
SKATR Comparison Chart:
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