On Friday, Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy signed an eight-year, $76 million contract extension, the richest contract in franchise history. The league standard has been set for this type of contract, most notably when Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Seth Jones signed for the exact same amount this summer.
While McAvoy may not be considered the best defenseman in the league (yet), he is phenomenal in all three zones and his statistics will get even better this season now that he going to be utilized full-time on the first power-play unit.
It’s interesting to see how McAvoy and Jones compare to one another since it seems that they are both valued the same by their teams.
Both Jones and McAvoy are right-shot defensemen. Jones is 27 years old while McAvoy is just entering his prime at 23 years old. Both players have been in the running for a Norris Trophy, but they have yet to win the award for the best all-around defenseman in the league.
According to these stat cards supplied by JFreshHockey on Twitter, McAvoy is astronomically better than Jones is. McAvoy has a higher skill set and skating ability and he is able to convert that at 5v5 as well as on the PK.
Jones has struggled even when paired with a good defensive partner, which was usually Zach Werenski when he played for the Columbus Blue Jackets. His Corsi (shot attempt differential while at even strength play) has significantly dropped the past couple of seasons. He plays a lot of minutes and can contribute offensively, but falls short when he is needed most which shows mostly in his EV stats and QoT (quality of talent.)
It is important to point out that McAvoy has put up significantly better numbers while paired up with much less reliable teammates.
Overall, Bruins fans should be ecstatic over McAvoy’s contract and it is in no way an overpayment. He is paid just the same as the other elite defensemen in the league and compared to Jones, McAvoy is far more worth the cap hit. Defense is arguably the biggest concern for the Bruins right now, so locking down their top young d-man was a no-brainer for GM Don Sweeney.