Boston Bruins: Charlie McAvoy rounding into form

Jun 7, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) skates the puck during the third period of game five of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the New York Islanders at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy (73) skates the puck during the third period of game five of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the New York Islanders at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Expectations were high for Charlie McAvoy entering this season. The New Jersey native signed an eight-year, $76 million extension in the offseason, making him the highest-paid player on the roster.

The deal was a no-brainer for the Bruins, and McAvoy is rewarding their faith. Through the first few weeks of the 2021-2022 season, his importance has been on full display.

In the Bruins first eight games of the season, McAvoy has scored one goal and recorded four assists. He also has three points on the power play, which is the third-highest total of his career. The 23-year-old has attempted 26 shots and has the most points of any Bruins defenseman. Of late, he has also shown a flair for coming through in the clutch.

On October 30th, McAvoy scored his first goal of the season against the Panthers, which forced overtime. His hot streak continued on Thursday night as he assisted on two of the Bruins’ five goals. He also helped spark the power play, which had been dormant through the season’s first seven games.

Defensively, the former first-round pick has been just as good and blocked 16 shots. McAvoy has not been afraid of sacrificing his body and landed 13 hits. The Boston University product has been Boston’s best defenseman and set the tone from the blueline. As McAvoy has been more aggressive with the puck, Boston’s top line has been hard to stop.

During the Bruins two-game winning streak, McAvoy has attempted six shots. That is his highest total during a two-game stretch so far this season. Three of his five points this year also came in that span. Against one of the top teams in the league, the Florida Panthers, he was at his best and helped Boston bounce back from a brutal road trip in which they were outscored 7-1.

As the Bruins look to continue their recent play, McAvoy will be a crucial piece. He is one of their best players and appears to be rounding into form after a slow start to the season. While the Bruins other defensemen have recorded a combined six points, the former 14th overall pick has been an exception.

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Although the season is far from over, McAvoy is tied for third on the team in points. During the Bruins 5-3 start, he has been at the center of their success.