Another day, another series of Bruins roster projections. Today we’ll be taking a look at which Bruins defenders will be on the left side.
Defense is a position that the Bruins are looking to get younger at. The Black and Gold lost Colin Miller in the NHL Expansion Draft which put a bit of a wrinkle in their plans.
They have several young prospects such as Charlie McAvoy, but not all of them are ready for the NHL level quite yet.
The Bruins still have plenty of talent amidst their starting defense, but the question will be whether or not their depth players can perform.
First string: Zdeno Chara / Projection: +20, 8 goals, 20 assists, 28 points
Chara has been an elite defenseman for the Bruins for over a decade now and looks to continue his success in the 2017-2018 season.
Altough he may be entering his 40s, Chara has yet to show signs of significant decline. He has had a positive +/- by double digits in all but two of his seasons with the Glack and Gold.
He will still be a great starting defenseman, but expect his offense numbers to start taking a dip. While he can still help get the offense going in the neutral zone, his days of scoring double-digit goals in a season are likely coming to a close.
As long as he’s healthy he can still be a great contributor. When the Bruins defenseman began dropping like flies down the stretch last season, he was one of the few guys that managed to stay healthy.
The Bruins are getting younger at the blue line, but Chara is still the best defenseman they’ve got on the left side so he’s got the starting job locked down for now. He will also be a great mentor to the younger defenseman looking to take on a bigger role in the future.
He will likely be paired alongside Brandon Carlo.
Chara is also playing for a new contract so this writer is anticipating his A game.
Second string: Torey Krug / Projection: +7, 10 goals, 40 assists, 50 points
Torey Krug is coming off a bit of a down season defensively. In 2016-17 he had a +/- of -10.
Krug is only 26 so he has still much of his prime in front of him. Before last season he had three consecutive campaigns with a positive +/- so he should bounce back.
One of Krug’s best assets as a defenseman is actually his offense. He doesn’t light the lamp very often, but he is a machine when it comes to exist. Krug is coming off back to back seasons with 40 + assists.
The end game for the Bruins seems to be pairing him with McAvoy, but the rookie isn’t ready for that quite yet. He will likely skate alongside Kevan Miller for the time being while McAvoy develops against NHL talent.
The Bruins signed Krug to a four-year contract back in the summer of 2016. A bounce-back year defensively would solidify his role in their future plans.
Third string: Adam McQuaid / Projection: +5, 1 goal, 7 assists, 8 points
Adam McQuaid is a capable third-string defenseman.
He’s coming off consecutive seasons with a positive plus/minus, so he’s proven he can be stable.
His offensive game leaves a lot to be desired, but there isn’t much one can expect from a third string defenseman in that department. He has never scored more than three goals and he is six years removed from his career-high 12-assist season.
McQuaid will likely be paired with McAvoy for the time being, but if the rookie starts to progress ahead of schedule then McQuaid could find himself skating with Miller.
McQuaid is coming off an injury that forced him to miss the second half of Boston’s six-game playoff series against the Ottawa Senators.
Another name to keep an eye on
- Paul Postma