By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Charlie McAvoy is a special talent, and not just because of his offense. The 19-year-old has eight points in 13 games, a 50-point pace, but he plays a well-rounded game. He has also shown early on that he’s not afraid to deliver clean yet punishing hits in the right spots.
On Monday night against the Wild at the TD Garden, McAvoy loudly and resoundingly showed Tyler Ennis and everyone watching that he needs to be taken seriously in the hitting department. It’s impressive enough that the rookie shows no fear in laying the wood, but he also delivered a textbook legal body check.
McAvoy went all shoulder as he lured Ennis in on the half boards before absolutely flattening him:
Here’s another angle:
Many others on Twitter took notice of the hit.
The veteran Ennis got his revenge later in the game when he laid out McAvoy himself, although his check wasn’t quite as clean. He appeared to make some helmet contact, but the play was borderline and McAvoy popped right back up anyway:
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has also taken notice of the way McAvoy has asserted himself physically on almost a nightly basis.
“He’s a big body and he’s certainly shown it every time I’ve seen him play,” Cassidy said after the game on NESN. “A time or two a game, he catches a forward napping a little bit. Good, clean, hard checks. Nothing dirty about it.”
McAvoy is going to take his licks at certain points in his rookie season, but he’s also likely to be in the conversation for the Calder Memorial Trophy. His eye-popping physicality is one of many reasons why.
Matt Dolloff is a writer/producer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, CBS, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.