Every season, a team has a player that completely passes all expectations. The Boston Bruins are no exception.
Last season, I would argue it was Charlie McAvoy. So many questions surrounded the young defenseman, who was forced to be the No. 1 man on the blue line at just 23 years old. McAvoy not only became the leader of the defense, but was a Norris Trophy contender. He certainly answered the bell and then some, turning into one of the most dominant defensemen in the league.
For this upcoming season, there are a number of candidates who could be the breakout star for the Bruins. With a number of new faces, they all have something to prove in their first season in the black and gold. But there are also some returners whose future could be in jeopardy if they don’t step up their game.
Let’s take a look at some of the potential breakout candidates.
Taylor Hall picks up the offensive production with Krejci gone
When Taylor Hall was acquired by the Bruins at the trade deadline last season, he was brought in to be the second line left wing to provide secondary scoring. He answered with 14 points in 16 regular season games and re-signed for four years to stay with the B’s.
That’s the reason why Boston is such a good fit for Hall is because he’s not relied on to be the top guy. Heck, he doesn’t really need to be a top-three guy. The expectations and pressure is off him playing on the second line, where it looks like he’ll play opposite Craig Smith, with either Jack Studnicka or Charlie Coyle down the middle.
Would Hall be more effective this year if David Krejci was still on the team? Yeah, probably. Hall might take a hit with his 5-on-5 numbers, but he’s slotted on the top power play unit. He should rack up a good amount of points playing with the top Boston players. It would be a big win for the Bruins if Hall could be a 60-point scorer, replacing Krejci’s production.