As the focus across the hockey world shifts from rookie tournaments to training camps, the Boston Bruins appear set to give first-year forward David Pastrnak not only serious consideration to make the team, but an opportunity for a prominent role therewith.
General manager Peter Chiarelli intimated the club won't keep him around to give him bottom-six minutes, as per WEEI.
Listen, if (Pastrnak is) going to make our team, he’s going to have to play higher up in the lineup. He’s a skill guy with speed and he needs to play with skill players. Maybe when I say he’s not going to start down the lineup in preseason, in camp, it’s just, he’ll have to be with skill players because you’re not going to get what you want from him (on the fourth line).
Who knows? He might start with Krejci, I don’t know. It’s about giving him some skill players, measuring the expectation level ... Let’s take one step at a time, and a smaller body can wear down over time, so let’s see how he handles that stuff.
Pastrnak was named to the All-Tournament team at the rookie event hosted by the Nashville Predators on Tuesday, and certainly impressed head coach Claude Julien in the process.
With the departure of Jarome Iginla to Colorado and Reilly Smith still unsigned, a strong showing by Pastrnak at training camp and in preseason games may give the Bruins sufficient reason to keep him around.
Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Bill Streicher