Tuesday was like the first day of high school for David Pastrnak.
The Boston Bruins’ top pick in the 2014 NHL draft took the ice at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, Mass., for the team’s first informal practice of the preseason.
Though the Czech forward is, by all accounts, a stud prospect — one with a legitimate chance of making the Bruins’ roster as a rookie — he still felt some nerves while skating with the big boys for the first time.
“It’s tough in the beginning,” Pastrnak said, via WEEI.com. “You don’t want to (make a bad pass), so you’re pretty nervous from the beginning. During the practice, it gets better, then it’s OK, but I’ve been pretty nervous from the beginning, practicing.”
Pastrnak already participated in the Bruins’ development camp earlier this summer, and he’ll travel next week to Antioch, Tenn., to participate in a rookie tournament before joining the full B’s squad for training camp.
Helping the 18-year-old with the transition has been veteran forward Patrice Bergeron, who can relate to Pastrnak’s situation. Bergeron began the 2003-04 season with the Bruins just months after being drafted.
“I think he just has to soak everything in and just enjoy it,” Bergeron told WEEI.com. “He seems to be a great kid, he wants to learn, he’s very good at English already, so that’s going to help him.
“He seems excited and looking forward to it. I think it’s nice for him to get here early and get to know the guys and also the surroundings and the city and whatnot. I think that’s going to help him, but I’ll be there for him if he needs some help and I’m sure the other guys will be, as well.”
A number of fellow Bruins, Providence Bruins and other NHL players with Boston ties joined Pastrnak and Bergeron at Tuesday’s session, including Arizona Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle and former Bruins forward Shawn Thornton.
Photo via Twitter/@NHLonNBCSports
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