Over the years, Sean Kuraly has become a crucial piece to the Bruin’s bottom lines.
The Ohio native was acquired by Boston before the 2016-2017 season and made his debut that same season appearing in eight games. Since his rookie season Kuraly, has seen an increased responsibility and improved each season. With the regular season, a little more than halfway over Kuraly is proving worth as the Bruins currently own the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Through 57 games this season, the former fifth-round pick has five goals and 15 assists, which is a new career-high. Kuraly is only one point shy of tying his total from last season. The 27-year-old also has one powerplay and shorthanded point, which he failed to achieve last season.
— Jamie Gatlin (@JamieGatlin1217) February 13, 2020
While Kuraly has excelled offensively, he has continued to be just as good defensively. Kuraly has already landed 118 hits, which is only 11 shy from last season. The Bruins winger has already blocked 25 shots, which is only 10 short of his total from the 2018-2019 campaign. He has the continued to be a valuable piece at both ends of the ice, which fits perfectly into the Bruins style of play.
Although the Bruins got inconsistent results from some of their forwards early on, Kuraly has still had a solid season. He is on pace to set career highs in almost every category, with more than 20 games remaining in the regular season.
Sean Kuraly steals the puck in the defensive end to start a good rush for the Bruins. Kuraly passes to David Pastrnak in front of the net, and he scores his 40th of the season! #NHLBruins #GoHabsGo #NHL #HockeyTribune #HockeyTwitter pic.twitter.com/jQXPuK7mEV
— The Hockey Tribune (@tribune_hockey) February 13, 2020
Additionally, Kuraly has been more aggressive offensively this season. He is shooting the puck a career-high 6.3 percent of the time and has already attempted 136 shots. Kuraly is also averaging 13:18 ice time, which is the second-highest total of his career. As the Bruins look to make their postseason push Kuraly will again be a key piece.
Throughout Kuraly’s career, he has set career highs in goals and assists every season. His offense has continually improved, making the Bruins fourth line a constant strength. He has also excelled in the playoffs and was an unexpected source of offense in last year’s postseason run.
In 20 playoff games last year, Kuraly had four goals and six assists. He also showed a talent for coming through in the clutch as he had two game-winning goals. If the Bruins are to return to the Stanley Cup Finals, they will need him to duplicate that performance.
While the regular season is far from over, Kuraly has continued to surpass expectations just as has since he was acquired from San Jose five years ago.