BOSTON (CBS) — It’s no secret that the Bruins are prioritizing winger David Pastrnak this offseason. The 21-year-old is on track to become a restricted free agent on July 1, but is a likely candidate for a contract extension with the B’s in the form of either a shorter bridge deal or long-term payday.
Good news for Bruins fans: the two sides are on the right track to an agreement.
GM Don Sweeney addressed Pastrnak’s contract situation, among other topics, at the NHL Combine on Friday. The team is fresh off signing 20-year-old winger Anders Bjork to an entry-level contract and Sweeney’s team has been busy scouting and interviewing 15-19 prospects for the 2017 NHL Draft, which kicks off on Friday June 23.
Sweeney confirmed, via the Bruins’ official Twitter page, that the Bruins and Pastrnak are “moving in the right direction” and that they “expect to complete a deal” that would make Pastrnak a “longtime member of the Bruins.”
Pastrnak emerged as one of the league’s most dynamic young snipers in 2016-17, scoring a career-high 34 goals and 70 points in just 73 games. He produced on the right wing for both Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci’s lines.
The 21-year-old didn’t perform up to the same standard in the first playoff series of his career, scoring two goals and four points in the Bruins’ six-game series loss to the Senators. He disappeared for long stretches and missed plenty of shot attempts wide of the net. But Pastrnak certainly has plenty of time to learn from the experience and get better in the postseason as well.
Most Bruins fans will be excited to know that Pastrnak’s future growth (and goals) will likely come while wearing the spoked ‘B’.