Charlie McAvoy Has Great Story Behind Why He Plays Defense, Not Forward

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It’s fair to wonder if Charlie McAvoy missed out on a good opportunity to be a forward, given he’s a gifted puck handler and mover, and has a penchant for joining the rush.

But it turns out he didn’t have many chances to play up front growing up.

During a town hall Tuesday with Bruins season ticket holders, the Boston defenseman explained the somewhat comical reason he’s a defenseman today instead of a forward: His dad was the coach, and stuck him at the blue line.

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“This one’s good. My dad was my coach growing up as a kid, so naturally we all wanted to score all of the goals and be the sniper,” McAvoy explained. “For me I was no different, I grew up and I wanted to play forward and that was what I loved. My dad, he was the coach so he said everybody wants to play forward, and instead of having to talk to parents and be like, ‘Yeah your son is going to play D, we’re going to put him on D,’ he just didn’t even give me a choice and he said ‘You’re playing D.’ So he put me back there, but still wanting to be that guy — I think maybe that’s how my offensive side of the game came into it — I still wanted to go and score, rush the puck and do all that, a lot of things I still try to do and (keep) in my game today. So that was how that went for me, but looking back on it now I wouldn’t change anything.

“I had one year when I was 11 or 12 that I went up and I played forward the entire year, and it was good but then we ended up getting a guy who was hurt later on in the year so I had to drop back to D and play for him, and that was kind of the point where I said I never wanted to play forward again, once I got back to D I just felt comfortable and figured that was what I loved doing the most.”

Considering McAvoy at 22-years-old is a top-pairing defenseman and projects to be one for many more years, it’s probably safe to say his father’s decision ultimately ended up being the right one.

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