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2018-2019 Player Ratings: David Pastrnak soared to new heights in a career year

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A career high in goals? Not bad.

Boston Bruins v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Four Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Overall Rating: 8.8

When you look at David Pastrnak’s career stats, you’ll notice that this past season was only a one-point improvement over his previous campaign.

“Huh,” you think. “That’s not that great.”

No, maybe not...until you realize that one more point came in 16 fewer games.

There really aren’t enough superlatives to describe Pastrnak’s game. He’s the Bruins best shooter. He’s their most creative offensive player. He’s their best scorer, their most dangerous power play weapon, and their most exciting player.

Pastrnak put it all together this season, rolling with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron to put up career highs in goals (38) and points (81). He continued that run with a decent playoffs, tallying 19 points in 24 games.

He was absolutely lethal on the power play, recording 17 goals and 16 assists with the man advantage. Basically, Pastrnak took everything he did in 2017-2018 and improved on it this season.

If Pastrnak hadn’t gotten injured and had produced at the same pace (a big “if,” to be fair), he would have cracked the 100-point mark.

His season wasn’t perfect, of course. Pastrnak occasionally gets careless with the puck, a product of his willingness to try to make things happen when the safer play may be better. And if we dinged Jake DeBrusk for a slow playoffs, we can’t give Pastrnak for scoring just 3 goals in the Eastern Conference Final and Cup Final combined.

Pastrnak wasn’t alone in his dried-up scoring, of course, but you would like to see your best talent at his best on the brightest stage.

Still, it’d be silly to claim the Bruins lost the Cup because Pastrnak (or any other single player, for that matter) didn’t score more, and Pastrnak’s other-worldly production overshadows any late-season drought.

There’s little reason to expect Pastrnak to slow down next season. In his three full (i.e. not half-seasonish) NHL campaigns, he’s scoring at a pace of 1.04 points per game. He’s improved his goal-scoring and total points numbers every season since he made his NHL debut.

His 38-goal output this season wasn’t really a fluke either: his 16.2% shooting percentage represented only a slight increase over his previous seasons (13-14% range).

The best part? He’s only 23, and won’t be 24 until late May.

The other best part? He’s under contract at a more-than-reasonable number through 2023.

The actual best part? We get to watch him put up numbers for the next several years.