BOSTON (CBS) — Charlie McAvoy may be only 19 years old with no professional hockey experience, but the defenseman might have enough talent to crack the Boston Bruins roster right now.
That’s what CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Monday morning as they looked ahead to the Black & Gold’s final three games of the regular season. McAvoy recently signed an ATO contract with the AHL’s Providence Bruins, but there’s still a chance he could get called up to the NHL club before the end of the season – even though it would burn the first year of his entry-level contract.
Haggerty believes that McAvoy could, at least, represent an upgrade to the Bruins’ defense corps over 24-year-old Colin Miller, who has been benched twice in the past four games.
“[I was] very unsure of whether McAvoy would be able to help [the Boston Bruins] this season, if they needed him. But watching him in the game I saw him in last night [in Providence], there’s certainly an argument to be made that he might even be better right now than a guy like Colin Miller,” said Haggerty. “So they may be very tempted at some point to use him at the NHL level.”
Haggerty acknowledged that the 19-year-old McAvoy still has plenty of development ahead of him to become a more complete NHL defenseman. But he has already shown in Providence that he has enough offensive talent to be able to contribute immediately at the NHL level. Haggerty believes the Bruins could consider bringing McAvoy up to the NHL if they can clinch a playoff spot within the next two games.
“[McAvoy’s] got things that he needs to work on just like everyone else – mostly defensive structure, the pro game in the defensive zone,” said Haggerty. “But you watch him with the puck, you watch him with the passes he makes to break out in his own end, you watch him on the power play … I would totally expect that he’s going get a look at the NHL level too, as long as the games don’t count for anything anymore.”
Haggerty also talked about the impending arrival of prospect Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and how the Bruins turned things around on their current winning streak. Listen to the full podcast below: