There is so much excitement surrounding Charlie McAvoy and some fans wold have preferred he was in the Bruins lineup yesterday. Here at Bostonpucks.com we have written about the smooth skating defenseman a lot this season, so I am not going to get into his skill set. The kid is a stud and everyone knows it.
McAvoy signed an ATO with the Bruins and made his professional debut with the Providence Bruins over the weekend. In two games McAvoy recorded 2 assists and that is what makes him prospect of the week. And by all accounts looked really good.
Once McAvoy signed his ATO people started calling for him to make his Boston Bruins debut. Personally I think that would be a bad idea. I do not want the Bruins to burn a year on McAvoy’s entry level contract, so they can get him in a regular season game. Last season the Blue Jacket’s defenseman, Zach Werenski, left Michigan and played for the Cleveland Monsters (formerly the Lake Erie Monsters) in the AHL. He was on the roster for a long playoff run that resulted in winning the Calder Cup (AHL’s Stanley Cup). This season he was able to jump right into the NHL and be the best rookie defenseman in the league. To me it makes the most sense to have McAvoy take his lumps in Providence and not burn a year on the ELC especially if the Bruins play Washington in the first round. Now if they are the 2 or 3 seed and have a chance at winning a round that is a different conversation.
Another thing to keep in mind regarding all of these prospects the Bruins have drafted the past few years. They are all going to be turning pro by next season, or already have. The Bruins have had 9 draft picks in the first two rounds of the lasr two drafts. As it sits now Brandon Carlo, Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen, Peter Cehlarik and now Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson will all be on the same contract cycle and become restricted free agents at the same time. Then if you look at the players who will be turning pro next year, Zach Senyshyn, Jakub Zboril, Jeremy Lauzon, Jesse Gabrielle, and Charlie McAvoy (as long as he does not play in a game this season). Also most likely Anders Bjork. When deciding if McAvoy is going to play for the Boston Bruins this season, GM Don Sweeney has to look to the future and manage the salary cap for years to come, not just the potential upgrade on defense. It is not crazy to think that McAvoy would be an upgrade over Colin Miller.
Don Sweeney has shown patience with his top prospects and that should not change with McAvoy. Jake Debrusk has probably deserved a NHL look with his play in the AHL, but for development reasons Sweeney has not called him up. These players are too valuable for the future of this franchise to mess with their confidence because they are rushed to the show.
Other Prospect Notes:
- Jake DeBrusk continued his impressive point production by scoring 2 goals in the 3 games. From Joe Haggerty’s tweet above he said Jake DeBrusk is close to NHL ready and that is how I felt when I saw him play two weekends ago. If you didn’t read last weeks’s Prostpect of the week here is what I said, “Jake Debrusk was involved in everything. To me he was definitely one of the best players on the ice and has grown into the pro game nicely this season.“
- The CHL playoffs are underway. Zach Senyshyn and his Soo Greyhounds beat Flint in 5 games in the opening round of the OHL playoffs. Senyshyn chipped in 3 goals and 1 assist in the series. Jeremy Lauzon’s Rouyn-Noranda Huskies beat Halifax, and top 2017 draft prospect, Nico Hischier in 6 games. Lauzon had himself a great series with 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points in 6 games. Lauzon seems to be a big game player with his play in the World Junior Championship and now the QMJHL playoffs. Jakub Zboril and the Saint John Sea Dogs swept Oceanic. Zboril only played in 2 games in this series, but recorded a goal and an assist. Jesse Gabrielle and the Price George Cougars were bounced out of the WHL playoffs last night by Portland in six games. Gabrielle contributed goal and 2 assists in the six games. It would not surprise me if he joins the Providence Bruins this week as well.
- No NCAA games this past week. We have the Frozen Four kicking off in Chicago on Thursday. Three Bruins prospects will be participating Thursday. Ryan Donato and Wiley Sherman of Harvard will face off against Minnesota-Duluth at 6pm. Anders Bjork and Notre Dame will take on Denver at 9:30pm. Both games are on ESPN2.