Pavel Zacha broke out in his debut season with the Bruins last season, and his role is expected to expand after Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci retired this offseason.

Boston acquired Zacha from the New Jersey Devils last season, and he scored a career-high 57 points with 21 goals and 36 assists. The Bruins re-signed Zacha midseason, and his versatility to play on the wings and center proved to be vital in the Black and Gold’s historic regular season.

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Zacha is projected to center the second line with David Pastrnak and James van Riemsdyk, and head coach Jim Montgomery on Friday gave more insight on Zacha’s role this season.

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“Just continuing his ascension into what we believe is a two-way pivot that can add offense, and play really good defense,” Montgomery told reporters at Warrior Ice Arena, per Eric Russo of “We have a lot of belief and confidence in him, and I think where his game is at … he’s picked up (Friday) the way that he’s practiced. And he has a lot of confidence in himself as well.”

Montgomery revealed Boston will play at most eight veteran players in his team’s preseason opener against the New York Rangers on Sunday to give prospects extended time and a longer look.

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Puck drop at TD Garden is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET on NESN+.

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