BOSTON (CBS) — The Bruins’ most prized prospect is about to make his professional debut.

Bruins GM Don Sweeney told reporters on Wednesday that defenseman Charlie McAvoy has signed an Amateur Try Out (ATO) contract with the Providence Bruins in the AHL. McAvoy, whom the Bruins drafted 14th overall in 2016, could play in Providence this weekend.

McAvoy’s opportunity to join the Bruins organization arose after the Boston University Terriers were eliminated from the NCAA tournament by Minnesota-Duluth. Final exams at BU temporarily held McAvoy up, but that is now in the rearview mirror and the defenseman is Providence-bound. ATOs are common deals for prospects like McAvoy who leave college teams in the middle of the season; it’s less common that those prospects make the NHL in that same time frame.

Sweeney added that McAvoy’s BU teammate and fellow Bruins prospect Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson has yet to decide if he’s ready to make the jump to the pros. The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa tweeted that the Bruins have yet to decide whether McAvoy will play in the NHL this season, which would start the service time clock for the 19-year-old’s rookie deal.

There’s little doubt about McAvoy’s talent, but it would be hard for him to make the jump to the NHL and make a real impact as an unseasoned 19-year-old. Barring an otherworldly showing in Providence, it’s more likely that McAvoy makes his Boston debut sometime next season.


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