David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy have the potential to reach the top of the hockey world.
ESPN’s Chris Peters on Tuesday included the Boston Bruins right wing and defenseman on his list of the 25 best young players in the NHL under age 25. Pastrnak and McAvoy both appeared in last year’s corresponding list, but their rankings improved after their successful 2018-19 seasons.
Here’s where Pastrnak, 23, and McAvoy, 21, land on ESPN’s “25 under 25” list and the reasons behind their rankings.
McAvoy, No. 22, up from No. 25 in 2018
“One area where McAvoy has a bit of an advantage over his peers is how well he has performed in multiple playoff appearances,” Peters writes. “Having debuted during the 2017 postseason, he was essentially born into the league via the playoffs. McAvoy is a top-pairing defenseman on one of the league’s best teams. He has played big minutes and eaten tough matchups, all while still moderately producing points.”
Pastrnak, No. 7, up from No. 8 in 2018
“Similar to (Edmonton Oilers center Leon) Draisaitl, Pastrnak benefits from the elite of the elite on the same line with him,” Peters writes. “Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand are going to help anyone put up points. However, Pastrnak is among the best in this age group when it comes to points per game, with 1.04 his past three seasons, trailing only that of (Oilers center Connor) McDavid and (Colorado Avalanche center Nathan) MacKinnon among age-eligible players. Three straight seasons of 34 or more goals and 70, 80 and 81 points, respectively, are special no matter whom you play with.”
McDavid, MacKinnon, Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov center and Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel ranked first through fifth, respectively, on Peters’ list.
Thumbnail photo via Jeff Curry/USA TODAY Sports Images