Entering the 2020-2021 campaign, expectations were high for Charlie McAvoy. The Boston University product had just signed an eight-year $76 million extension that is currently the biggest deal in Bruins franchise history.
Through the first half of the season, the former first-round pick has proved his value. While the regular season is far from over, McAvoy is on pace to have a career year.
With the Bruins set to resume play on Tuesday, McAvoy has 28 points in 40 games. He has the fifth-most points on the team and is the only Bruins defenseman with more than 16 this season. On the power play, he has 15 points which nearly doubles his total of eight from last season, which was a career-best. While the Bruins looked like a different team in January, their franchise defenseman was in vintage form.
As Boston focuses on securing a playoff spot, McAvoy could reach new heights offensively. He has 21 assists this season which is only six short of his career-high. The New York native also has seven goals which ties his total from the 2018-2019 campaign. As he has contributed more offensively, the Bruins have been harder to face.
Additionally, the Bruins defenseman was on another level last month. In 15 games, he averaged a point per game. It was a welcoming sign for the Bruins, who entered the month searching for answers offensively especially on the blueline. His impact, however, has been felt at both ends of the ice.
Through 976 minutes of total ice time this season, McAvoy has landed 79 hits. He has not been afraid to sacrifice his body and blocked 70 shots. In his fifth NHL season, the 24-year-old has continued to improve and led a Bruins defensive unit that has seemingly dealt with injuries and inconsistency since opening night.
What to expect from McAvoy in the second half
In the second half of the season, McAvoy’s play will be critical. He is one of the Bruins best skaters and is making an impact every time he steps on the ice. The former 14th overall pick has also been key on the power play and shown a flair for the dramatics of late with two game-winning goals in January. In a year that has been full of ups and downs for the Bruins, McAvoy has been one of the few consistent pieces.
As he continues to set new career highs, the Long Beach native will be a player to watch. His ultimate goal is to deliver a championship to Boston, but regardless of how 2022 ends, McAvoy is having his best season to date.