In his first season as the Bruins’ number one defenseman, Charlie McAvoy was impressive. The Long Beach, N.Y. native recorded 30 points in 51 games. McAvoy was also productive on the powerplay, where he had eight points. As the Bruins blueline dealt with injuries all season, the former Boston University product was a difference-maker on both ends of the ice.
Although the 2020-2021 campaign was shortened, McAvoy was still able to block 80 shots. In his fourth NHL season, he also landed 65 hits. He was someone that Bruce Cassidy could rely on and was rarely seen on the bench in the playoffs where he shined.
While the Bruins playoff run had a disappointing ending, McAvoy was not one of the problems. In 11 games, he had 12 points, including 11 assists. The former first-round pick showed a flair for the dramatics as his goal in Game 1 of the second round proved to be the game-winner. As the Bruins had to be creative with their lineups, he averaged a career-high ice of time 26:39 per game.
At the start of last season, the Bruins were entering a new era. With Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara departing in free agency, McAvoy had to step up. The former top prospect rose to the challenge and showed why he is so highly regarded. He was a great player and a great leader for players such as Jeremy Lauzon and Jakub Zboril as they navigated their first full NHL seasons.
McAvoy’s 2021 season provides hope for a bright future for the Bruins.
Although McAvoy was not nominated for the Norris Trophy, he still had an elite season. However, the Bruins’ top defenseman will have many chances in what will be a long career. The 23-year-old only scored five goals but made an impact every time he was on the ice.
Over the next few months, the Bruins are expected to be a busy team. While changes are needed, one player they don’t have to worry about is McAvoy. He is one of the best defensemen in the NHL and proved that again during the 2020- 2021 campaign. Next season, he will be in the Norris conversation as the Bruins look to end their title drought.