David Pastrnak Eager To Show Bruins They Made Right Draft Pick

by NESN Staff

September 4, 2014

PastrnakWILMINGTON, Mass. — David Pastrnak impressed fans and Boston Bruins management during July’s development camp, passing his first test toward making the NHL roster this season.

The undersized right winger, who possesses the offensive skill and right-handed shot Boston has sought since Jarome Iginla’s offseason departure, has participated in this week’s informal practices at Ristuccia Arena along with many other Bruins veterans and prospects.

Pastrnak hopes to make the B’s roster as a rookie — just like former first-round draft picks Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin — but he’s not letting that goal distract him ahead of the upcoming rookie camp and training camp sessions that will be crucial in deciding his fate for the 2014-15 season.

“I had no expectations when I got here for the development camp,” Pastrnak told reporters after Thursday’s practice. “I just got here for practice and to show the Bruins organization that they made the right (draft) pick.

“I’m not trying to think about, just playing hockey.”

These practices are giving Pastrnak — the 25th overall pick in the 2014 NHL draft — an opportunity to play alongside Bruins forwards such as Patrice Bergeron and against defenseman like Zdeno Chara. It’s a good test and learning experience for the 18-year-old forward.

“It’s unbelievable that I can skate with them,” Pastrnak said. “They are great players. … I’m just trying to watch them and take some experience from them”.

“It’s always better when you practice with these guys, that’s pushing you even more to improve yourself and work harder.”

Pastrnak’s speed, accurate and powerful shot, high hockey IQ and playmaking skill make him an ideal candidate for the third line. Loui Eriksson likely will move up to the first line alongside David Krejci and Milan Lucic, thus opening a spot next to Carl Soderberg and Chris Kelly. Pastrnak’s size is a concern, as he’s just 5-foot-10 and around 175 pounds, but he wouldn’t face top-tier defenseman playing on Boston’s third line. He also wouldn’t be under pressure to make an immediate impact offensively because the Bruins have so much scoring depth (10 double-digit goal scorers last season).

“You don?t want to place too much of a burden on this kid?s shoulders, but he was good,” Bruins general Peter Chiarelli said after the team’s development camp. “You know, like the hesitation you have is he?s 170, 173 pounds, but he?s wiry strong, so you never know. Speed, skill, sense is all there, so it would be nice, but we?ll see. But you know, he?s young, and to throw someone like that at that age, at that weight — but there have been guys who have done it.”

Pastrnak will have his chance to impress head coach Claude Julien and his staff when Bruins rookie camp begins Sept. 11.

Photo via Twitter/@NHLBruins

Have a Bruins/NHL question for Nick Goss? Send it to him via Twitter at @NickGossNESN

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