Charlie McAvoy has Signed a Contract With the Boston Bruins
It finally happened. The Boston Bruins have signed defenseman Charlie McAvoy to an Amateur Tryout Offer (or an ATO). The 19-year-old defenseman has been a standout at Boston University with the Terriers and just concluded his season in the NCAA on Saturday. With that, he was eligible to sign his first NHL contract. While some hoped he would sign and join in the Bruins playoff race, he will now join Providence to help the baby-Bruins in their playoff hunt.
By not signing him to an entry-level contract, the Bruins save one year on McAvoy’s first contract. While the Bruins could use McAvoy in their lineup right now, his development and time under team control are the top priorities. Throwing him right to the wolves probably wouldn’t benefit McAvoy as much as letting him start in the AHL might – a similar tactic that the Bruins used with Brandon Carlo last season.
McAvoy is a complete two-way defenseman who projects to be a legitimate top-two defender in the NHL. With the Bruins finding out the hard way that a lack of top-four defenseman directly correlates to a lack of success, McAvoy will eventually highlight a team that already features some of the future of the Bruins’ blueline. Though he’s set to finish out the season in Providence, McAvoy will eventually join Torey Krug, Carlo and Colin Miller in the Bruins lineup with even more future pieces set to join in the coming years. Players like Matt Grzelcyk, Rob O’Gara, Jakub Zboril, Jeremy Lauzon and Ryan Lindgren are all still developing for the Bruins at the AHL and Major-Junior levels.
McAvoy a Potential Superstar
When speaking about McAvoy prior to the season, Bruins’ assistant coach Jay Pandolfo had this to say:
"“He’s wide, he can really skate. He’s an effortless skater,” said Pandolfo. “He is the type of D-man that you hope is going to be able to play 26, 27 minutes a night. That’s what he looks like. Even watching him in college last year, he has no problem playing a lot ice time. So that’s important.”"
McAvoy plays a strong three-zone game. His maturity, high hockey IQ, smooth skating and strong vision all bode well for the Bruins as they look to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. In two seasons with the Boston University Terriers, McAvoy scored eight goals and 51 points in 76 games. Playing very big minutes for the Terriers, McAvoy has demonstrated the ability to play in all situations – shining in crunch time with his solid defensive ability as well as his awareness and ability to jump up offensively.
The future is bright in Boston, and the potential brightest piece has taken the next step in his development. Only time will tell if McAvoy pans out the way he’s expected to, but the potential is there. With a ceiling as high as his, McAvoy could be a star.