Boston Bruins: David Pastrnak back to AHL, will David Krejci return?


Nov 24, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins left wing

David Pastrnak

(88) skates during the overtime period of the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, The Boston Bruins decided to send David Pastrnak, their 2014 first-round draft pick back to Providence. Pastrnak played five games for the Bruins (It’s safe to say he was wasted in at least one of them.). Pastrnak earned an assist on a Brad Marchand goal during that time, and he averaged just over fourteen minutes a game. The eighteen year old Czech forward spent most of his time on the Bruins second line with Patrice Bergeron and Marchand.

Pastrnak certainly wasn’t a failure in his NHL debut. He picked up time on special teams, and got to test himself at the NHL level. Many people questioned if the young forward could handle the shear physicality that comes at the NHL level. He was a virtual punching bag on the California road trip, and held up well under the abuse.

The lingering question on a lot of fan’s minds was why send him back down? Here are the big reasons that make the most sense:

1.) He only has four more games he can play at the NHL level before the Bruins would burn a year off his entry-level contract. If Pastrnak turns out to be another Tyler Seguin for Boston, they’re not going to do anything crazy. (Team Jacobs will not walk away from an opportunity to save a LOT of money.)

2.) World Juniors are coming up, and Pastrnak is still eligible to play for the Czech Republic. Sure, playing in the NHL is a pretty amazing thing. In my opinion, getting to play for your home country is a little better. The B’s are probably factoring that in as well.

3.) While we’re on the subject of Czech players, sending Pastrnak back to the AHL could signal that the B’s current top line Czech forward is returning to the ice. David Krejci has been battling an undisclosed (likely groin) injury on-and-off the entire season. While Pastrnak is untapped potential for Boston, David Krejci is far more of a sure thing for the Black and Gold if he’s healthy. If Krejci starts practicing in the next few days, we’ll have our answer.

For now, the 15-12-1 Bruins are seventh in the Eastern Conference. This has been one of the worst years for injuries for the B’s in recent memory. They’ve called up a slew of AHL players to help fill in the gaps. Pastrnak got his shot like so many others in Providence. Yes, the Bruins need a full-time goal scoring machine in Boston more than ever. I just don’t think it’s him right now.