The Boston Bruins have a long and storied history of great defensemen. With names like Orr, Bourque, Shore, Park, and Chara the bar for greatness has been set pretty high. Is Charlie McAvoy the next name to add to that impressive list? The former B.U. Standout is already the Bruins top defenseman but 2020-21 could be a big year in his young career. While McAvoy finished 10th in Norris voting last season, his real breakout has yet to come.
Charlie McAvoy A Brief Career History
McAvoy was drafted 14th overall back in the 2016 NHL Draft. McAvoy came up through the U.S. national team development program. He then went to Boston University for two seasons where in 75 games he scored 51 points. Charlie made his jump to the NHL in the 2017-18 season. During his rookie season, McAvoy played in 63 games scoring 7 goals and 25 assists for 32 points. The Bruins gave him big minutes right away and Charlie averaged 22 minutes a game. McAvoy even finished fifth in the Calder voting for rookie of the year. The 2018-19 season saw Charlie limited to just 54 games, however, he was still able to score 7 goals and 21 assists for 28 points.
That brings us to this past season the 2019-20 season. This season was a tale of two halves for Charlie McAvoy. This year he played in 67 games scoring 5 goals and 27 assists to tie his young career-high of 32 points. However, the Charlie McAvoy we saw from October through January was very different than the February through March version. In the first 49 games of the season, Charlie scored just 17 points and was a plus 8. Not overly impressive numbers and over an 82 game season that put Charlie on pace for just 28 points.
In the last 18 games, Charlie exploded for 15 points and was a plus 16. If the Bruins finished the regular season McAvoy was on pace to score 27 points over the last 33 games. That is a total of 44 points on the year. If Charlie kept that pace up for a full 82 game season that would be a 68 point pace. Most impressive of all is only two of his 32 points came on the powerplay. Charlie McAvoy looked like a dominant force in those last 18 games. If he can recapture that form next season he will finish much higher than 10th in Norris voting.
With Krug now gone it could open a spot on the top powerplay for Charlie. With just two powerplay points in each of the last two seasons, a spot on the top unit could see a huge increase in his point totals. McAvoy’s defensive game has also taken some big steps going from 3.7 defensive point shares in 2018-19 to 5.1 last season which led the team. If Chara decides to hang up his skates McAvoy will be the unquestioned leader of the defensive unit. With Marchand and Pastrnak likely missing some time to start the year a continued offensive breakout from Charlie McAvoy will be essential to keeping the Bruins in playoff contention. So until next season stay safe out there and LET’S GO BRUINS!!
Featured image courtesy of Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports.