Charlie McAvoy is thriving amid increased responsibility.
ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski named the Boston Bruins defenseman as a “finalist” on his list of potential Norris Trophy winners for the 2020-21 NHL season. McAvoy has been ever-present for the Bruins, and his contributions have been invaluable to a team that has been among the East Division front-runners for most of the season.
“We think McAvoy might have the most buzz for the third Norris spot at the moment,” Wyshynski wrote. “He has 15 points in 19 games. He has skated a career high 23:48 on average. He has a 57.12 expected goals percentage at 5-on-5, and the Bruins get 56 percent of the scoring chances when he’s on the ice. McAvoy ‘taking the next step’ after Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara walk away from the Bruins is a compelling narrative.”
McAvoy’s stellar start to the season has silenced talk about his ability to handle the “pressure” of being Boston’s top defenseman.
McAvoy, 23, will have to raise his game in order to edge the Colorado Avalance’s Cale Makar, whom Wyshynski dubs the “leader,” and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Victor Hedman, a fellow “finalist,” in the race for the Norris Trophy.
Nevertheless, plenty of hockey remains in the season, and McAvoy seemingly has played himself into the running for the award, which recognizes the NHL’s best defenseman.