David Krejci is undeniably one of the most underrated players in the NHL. Exactly how underrated is he?
You can't argue facts
Last season David Krejci had arguably the best season of his career. He had a career high in assists, and tied his career high in points. At the age of 33 he fronted the second line behind arguably the best line in hockey. Imagine if David Krecji was playing on a line where he had consistent linemates. Imagine if David Krejci had a Brad Marchand or a David Pastrnak on his line. Or even both.
The craziest part of the whole David Krejci story is that his work comes at a relatively low price. If you take a comparable contract in Bobby Ryan of the Ottawa Senators, David Krejci has outperformed him by a pretty decent margin for the last four years. Bobby Ryan only having five more goals during the 2015-2016 season. During that season David Krejci still had seven more points than Ryan.
The fact that a 33 year old being paid over $7 Million is drawing trade interest tells you one thing: Teams know it would be worth it. If the Bruins trade him any time soon, it will be because they will be able to sell high on him. You can't sell high on a guy who's under-performing.
Why is he being taken for granted?
In poll a given to Bruins fans, David Krejci was voted the second most under-performing player on the team. I think the issue falls simply on the fact that the team in general had scoring issues. Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand all had stellar seasons. But is it fair to blame David Krejci for the brunt of scoring issues? Krejci was fourth on the team in points, only behind the three guys on the line above him. What more do we expect from a second line center?
Perhaps the level of expectations for Krejci were higher, but I think that right there says how lucky we are to have him, especially at the price we're paying for him. If he's expected to perform like a first line center, but he's on the second hindered by injuries and inconsistent performances. How high can we set his expectations?
Where do we go from here?
Coming into this season the Bruins still haven't addressed their most glaring issue for the past two seasons: Depth on the wings. By the looks of it, Jake DeBrusk and Danton Heinen are going to be along side Krejci to start the season barring any big trades, injuries, or somebody coming out of nowhere and taking a second line job. With Jake DeBrusk having a disappointing season last year, he will be looking for redemption. Danton Heinen didn't have a bad season himself, but like Krejci, the fans seem to disagree.
It looks like the only way that David Krejci is going to be able to get rid of the "underperforming" label is if Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen or whoever is along side him steps up to score more goals or just make more plays in general. Because Krejci himself is not underperforming.