Ever Since Charlie McAvoy was drafted by the Bruins in the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, expectations have been limitless. The Boston University product has been labeled the future of the franchise and shown flashed stretches of brilliance. This past offseason, he was rewarded with a three-year extension worth $4.9 million a year. While McAvoy has become an important piece, he is off to a curious start to the 2019-20 campaign. The season, however, is far from over as McAvoy will look to make more of an impact offensively down the stretch.
In 35 games this season, the New Jersey native has yet to score a goal but recorded 12 assists. On the power play, he has not made make much of an impact as he only has one point. McAvoy has, however, been productive this month as in nine December games, he has five assists. Although he has gotten off to a slow start offensively, McAvoy is not letting that affect his defense.
So far this season, the former 14th overall pick is averaging a career-high ice time of 22:56. He has blocked 70 shots and landed 79 hits. He also has a plus-minus of 13 and put 101 shots on net.
While his numbers are solid, what makes McAvoy special is his talent in the offensive zone. Last year, he had three game-winning goals, all of which came at even strength. Although he has yet to do that this season, McAvoy has been shooting the puck more over the past month. Regardless of his struggles, he is too good for his scoring drought to last all season.
Although the Bruins are currently second in the Eastern Conference, they have struggled as of late. The offense has been inconsistent as the Bruins’ secondary scoring has failed to make an impact. If McAvoy can find his scoring touch, the Bruins’ offense would receive a much-needed boost.
Regardless of McAvoy’s slow start, he still has the third-most points of any Bruins defenseman this season and trails Zdeno Chara by one. His value to the Bruins remains the same as he will be an important piece for the rest of the season.
In order for the Bruins to return to the Stanley Cup finals, they will need everyone at their best. This season, they have yet to see the best of McAvoy, but over the past few weeks, he has shown signs that a breakout is on the horizon.