The Bruins have made seven first-round picks in the last four drafts, and three of those players provided most of the scoring in Boston’s 4-3 season-opening victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.
David Pastrnak (2014, 25th overall), Jake DeBrusk (2015, 14th overall) and Charlie McAvoy (2016, 14th overall) all scored goals, giving B’s fans at TD Garden a glimpse at the team’s bright future.
Pastrnak started the scoring with a power-play goal in the first period, followed by second-period tallies from DeBrusk and McAvoy. DeBrusk and McAvoy also picked up an assist, as did rookie forward Anders Bjork.
Of course, there will be mistakes from these young players. McAvoy took three penalties and a Pastrnak turnover led to the Predators scoring the equalizer at the end of the first period. But the good should far outweigh the bad when it comes to these talented young players.
The Bruins could be a real contender in the Eastern Conference if these youngsters continue to make a positive impact. The B’s already have a strong core of veterans with championship experience, and it’s up to the recent draft picks and emerging stars like Pastrnak to supply the depth all great teams need to win at the highest level.
Here are some other notes from Bruins-Predators.
— Bjork and DeBrusk made their NHL debuts, while McAvoy made his regular-season debut. McAvoy got his first taste of NHL action during the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs.
— Veteran centers Patrice Bergeron (lower body injury) and David Backes (illness) did not play.
The Bruins put out a statement on Backes’ health Thursday night:
“David Backes has been diagnosed with diverticulitis and has been undergoing treatment at MGH by Team Internist, Doctor David Finn. Backes will be re-evaluated in approximately two weeks but is expected to be out for at least three to four weeks.”
— David Krejci stepped up as Boston’s No. 1 center with Bergeron sidelined. Krejci tallied three assists, two shots on goal and won 17 of 22 faceoffs in 21:29 of ice time.
— The Bruins need to be better disciplined. They gave the Predators seven power plays, two of which resulted in goals by Scott Hartnell and Filip Forsberg late in the third period. Boston had the best penalty kill in the league last season at 85.7 percent, and to be fair, the PK unit was without its best player in Bergeron on Thursday. Still, it’s going to be hard to win games when the other team has more than 10 minutes of power-play time.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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