In 2021, Charlie McAvoy has taken on a different role than in years past. Due to Zdeno Chara‘s departure, the Boston University product has become the leader of the Boston Bruins blue line. It is a role that McAvoy has been preparing for and has filled well so far. After getting off to a slow start, McAvoy has been one of Boston’s best skaters over the past two weeks.
In nine games this season, McAvoy has one goal and seven assists. After going scoreless in the Bruins’ first four games, he has multiple points in two of his last five games. Although the twenty-three-year-old only has one goal, he is tied for third on the Bruins in points. As the Bruins offense has awakened, McAvoy has been a key piece.
Charlie McAvoy launches Nick Jensen. pic.twitter.com/E8ZGgM8M1T
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 2, 2021
While McAvoy has excelled offensively, he has also played well at the other end of the ice. Through the first month of the season, McAvoy has blocked 14 shots and landed 10 hits. The Bruins defenseman has played with more confidence this year and doesn’t seem fazed by the added responsibility. The New York Native has also come through in clutch moments as he forced overtime on Saturday night against Washington.
Although the Bruins defense has been solid so far, there have been some bumps along the way. In the series against Washington, Jeremy Lauzon and Jakub Zboril made mistakes that led to goals. McAvoy, however, continued to be a stable presence. That trait will become even more important at the end of the season when points are at a premium.
— Boston Bruins on CLNS (@BruinsCLNS) January 31, 2021
Through the Bruins’ first nine games, McAvoy is the only defenseman with more than three points. McAvoy has also been effective on special teams as he has three power-play points and one shorthanded. Regardless of the situation, Boston’s number one defenseman has excelled as the Bruins are currently third in the MassMutual East Division.
During the Bruins early-season success McAvoy has also reached some career milestones. With an assist Monday night, he now has 100 points in his career. Despite a shortened season, the former first-round pick is on pace to have a career year offensively. That has been a welcoming sign for Boston with Torey Krug now in St. Louis.
As the season progresses, McAvoy’s play will be critical to the Bruins’ success. He is already one of the Bruins’ best players, and his stock should only rise throughout the season. In a year that McAvoy has taken on a leadership role, he is proving why he has always been seen as a franchise player.
Follow Jamie Gatlin On Twitter @JamieGatlin17
Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images