In the middle of his seventh NHL season, Charlie McAvoy has been a difference-maker for the Boston Bruins.

Amassing 40 goals and 200 assists to start his career, the now-26-year-old has been an impact player, growing into a staple of Boston’s top defensive pairing with a rotation of partners in recent memory.

Off the ice, McAvoy definitely has immersed himself in the city, heading north from his native Long Island and playing college hockey at Boston University before becoming a core player for the Bruins.

As his career progresses, McAvoy has been looked to as a leader, earning an “A” on his sweater as an alternate captain. His experience and on-ice impact remain highly valuable for the modern Bruins.

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McAvoy certainly is a star with the Bruins in the current phase. Looking back on the storied franchise, as he etched his name into a select group of legendary Boston defensemen?

He’s close, though there still is a tier he looks up to, which also is not a fault of his own.

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History has lived throughout Boston through its sports, particularly this year with the celebration of the Bruins’ centennial. For the Bruins, the team benefited for decades with iconic players in the position such as Ray Bourque, Zdeno Chara and Bobby Orr.

The start, however, for McAvoy benefits his case, based on his impact on the Bruins and his individual capabilities. Among all-time Bruins defensemen, McAvoy ranks 10th in assists (203) and eighth in plus-minus (+136).

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When Brad Marchand ends his successful career and hangs up his skates, McAvoy likely is next in line to take on the captainship. His leadership, his defensive capabilities to headline the unit and move the puck in an offensive attack makes his skillset incredibly unique on a league level in the current NHL. Ultimately, McAvoy is a complete driving force for the Bruins.

McAvoy has certainly entered a conversation of greatness. Could continued offensive consistency and a championship push him ahead?

With plenty of youth and talent that remains in his future, McAvoy, at the very least, has set the table to be a prominent defender in Bruins history when all is said and done. His potential remains to reach that top tier down the road.

Featured image via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images