David Pastrnak has an opportunity in front of him. It might be a bit of a longshot, but it’s an opportunity nonetheless. He’s looking forward to trying to make the most of that chance.
The Boston Bruins’ 2014 first-round pick just wrapped up his first development camp and is back in his native Czech Republic. When he returns to Boston later this summer, he’ll be given his chance to make the team.
The 18-year-old signed an entry-level contract earlier this week, which means he’ll be at training camp. The Bruins have said there’s still a chance Pastrnak will make the team, an opportunity that will be the latest development in a whirlwind time for the forward.
“Until this moment happened now, I’ve always just been dreaming of it,” he told the team’s website. “Now it’s come true, but my dreaming isn’t done. I have to still do more things for my dad and for my family.”
The Bruins do have openings up front. The club must plug the holes left by the departure of wingers Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton through free agency. Could Pastrnak be one of the players who slides into one of those spots?
“And at each step, the level of play, the tempo of play, the strength of the player, all increases, so with a young 18-year-old who’s 171 pounds, you have to be careful,” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said, according to the team’s website. “Now, he’s strong, he’s naturally strong, so he’s got that going for him, but we’ll have to see.”
Pastrnak brings skill and speed to the table, which are two things the Bruins have said they’d like to add. Whether Pastrnak can be the one to do that while also handling the size, speed and strength of the NHL game is a big question mark. Regardless, he’s going to do all he can to make the decision difficult for the club.
“I always said if I get this chance,” he said, “I would do my best and show the Bruins that they made the right decision, and I would really enjoy it.”