Now that the holiday chaos is finally over we can buckle down and get back to business here at BostonPucks.com. A lot has happened in the world of future B’s since we posted our year end Top 10 Bruins Prospects. Specifically, there was the wildly entertaining IIHF World Junior Championship hosted in Toronto and Montreal. If you did not watch any of it I’m sorry to hear that. Because trust me, it was fantastic.
BostonPucks.com’s #1 overall Bruins prospect Charlie McAvoy was a beast for Team USA at the WJC. And that is why he is our Prospect of the Week.
We had written about seeing McAvoy play live when his NCAA team, Boston University, visited the University of Vermont. In that game McAvoy played physical and played a strong defensive game but wasn’t exactly showcasing his elite status like we’d hoped. It was just another night for him in Hockey East. But in the WJC, with the stakes much higher, McAvoy took his play to another level. He controlled the flow of the USA game and was the best defenseman on the ice.
McAvoy was also an assistant captain for the gold medal winning United States team. He played in all 7 WJC games while collecting 6 points (2 goals and 4 assists). Two of those six points came in the gold medal game where he scored the American’s first goal and grabbed his assist on a beautiful pass to fellow Boston Terrier teammate and Islanders prospect Kieffer Bellows. See below (I appoligize for the video not being in English):
McAvoy also logged a ridiculous 35:33 of ice time in the Gold Medal game. He even played half of the lone 20 minute overtime period. Rightfully so he was named the player of the game for the United States.
And it only got better for the future Bruin. Follow the World Junior tournament he returned to BU in time to play in the Frozen Fenway last weekend where the Terriers took on the UMass Minutemen on the famous Fenway Park infield. Of course McAvoy scored a beautiful power play goal in the Fenway game as well. No big deal. Just another day for an American hockey legend.
I said this after I saw him play live in early December, and his performance at the WJC cemented it; McAvoy will be playing for the Bruins next year. Shit, with the Bruins practice facility not far from the Boston University campus McAvoy doesn’t even have to move out of his apartment. He will still be able to chill with his college buddies. He will just be making a few extra eight or nine hundred thousand dollars and playing in a slightly bigger building.
Here are a few updates on other top Bruins prospects:
- Ryan Lindgren was also on Team USA at the WJC and was actually named Player of the Game against Canada in the preliminary round. Lindgren ended up coming down with the flu, which was going through Team USA, and unfortunately did not play in the Gold Medal game. On NHL Radio USA shootout hero Troy Terry (Anaheim Ducks prospect) spoke on how Lindgren was tough for even playing through the illness in the semifinal against Russia. The positive was Lindgren really opened eyes in the hockey world with his performance at the WJC despite battling illness.
- Jeremy Lauzon was the 7th defenseman for Team Canada at the WJC. In the WJC each team can dress 20 skaters which allowed Lauzon to be in the lineup for every game. With an injury to Philippe Myers, Lauzon ended up getting regular ice time. In 7 games he had 2 goals and 1 assists with one of Lauzon’s goals being a perfectly placed, stick side, top shelf snipe in the Gold Medal game against Team USA.
- Jakub Zboril played for the Czech Republic at the WJC. The Czechs were bounced by the Canadians in the quarter finals and Zboril had a nice 4 assists in 5 tournament games.
- Zach Senyshyn did not let not making Team Canada effect his game. In the six games since being cut by Team Canada he has scored 7 goals. Senyshyn now has 24 goals and 11 assist for 35 points in 31 games. Barring any injury he has 28 games left in the regular season with the OHL’s Soo Greyhounds. At this rate he is on pace to match the 45 goals he scored last season.
- Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson was not bothered by 7 of his BU teammates playing in the WJC. BU only played one game while the WJC was going on (good scheduling by coach David Quinn) and it was against nationally ranked Union. So what did JFK do? He recorded a hat trick, obviously. His hatty included the game-tying goal and the overtime winner. Then at Frozen Fenway against UMass JFK added 2 more goals. If it weren’t for Charlie McAvoy’s performance with Team USA JFK would have walked away clean with our Prospect of the Week award. JFK now has 8 goals and 12 assists for 20 points in 19 games with BU this season.
- And last but not least, Jake DeBrusk has continued to impress and develop nicely with the Providence Bruins. Although he had his 8-game point streak snapped on Sunday against the Hartford Wolfpack, he put up 6 goals and 2 assists during that stretch. DeBrusk now has 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points in 36 AHL games and is really starting to come into his own down in Providence.