By far the story of the Bruins development camp that came to an end on Sunday was the performance of their first round draft pick, David Pastrnak. The 18 year old native of the Czech Republic dazzled his new team with his speed and playmaking abilities so much that B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli wouldn’t rule out the rookie from contributing to the big club this coming season.
If Chiarelli is really considering having Pastrnak on the roster to start the season, I have two words for him.
Granted the Bruins are desperate for a right shot, right winger who can add some offense to a team that does not have a bonafide goal scorer and who – if he makes the club out of camp – will cost next to nothing on the salary cap as the team finds itself with its head firmly pressed against the cap ceiling entering the season.
But to say that an 18 year old kid who weighs in at 170 lbs soaking wet could be the answer is downright asinine.
First, the knock on him entering the draft was that he wore down at the end of the year in the Swedish Elite League so he still needs to work on his stamina. Second – and perhaps most importantly – the head coach of the Boston Bruins is still one Claude Julien, aka Mr. Anti-offense.
Some would argue that Julien has never seen a goal that he has liked, even when his team scores it. His opposition to any kind of offense saw him virtually lockdown players like Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin during his time behind the Boston bench.
To think his patience would be any different with a player that Hockey’s Future describes in their talent analysis on their website as “an exciting offensive player hailing from the Czech Republic who has flair and loves to be dangerous. He thrives in situations where he can carry the puck and dish it off when he feels fit.” is quite frankly a recipe for disaster.
Nothing says the end of the bench on a Claude Julien run team than “loves to be dangerous” and “dish it off where he feels fit” in a player’s scouting report.
Talk about a round peg for a square hole. As I see it, Pastrnak has three things that doesn’t really fit in the Julien system. He is young, he is fast and he is offensively gifted.
Strike one, two and three for a coach who would take 12 Chris Kelly’s up front and play to a 0-0 tie every night if you let him.
If Pastrnak is really as talented as the Bruins think he is, he needs to play another year in a system that will allow him to physically grow into a man while allowing his game to grow as a player. To thrust him into Claude’s caste system would surely be something that would hinder his growth rather than help it.
Plainly put, Claude often demands that fourth line plumbing duties be done by his first line level talent, which is one of the reasons that the two best natural goal scorers the team has had over the better part of the past decade now ply their trade in Toronto and Dallas and not in Boston.
The Bruins will be a very good regular season team this season whether Pastrnak is with them or not. They would be better served finding short term solutions on the wing via trade or from within, not throwing their first round draft pick to the wolves only to undoubtably land in Claude Julien’s dog house.