Position: Right/Left Wing
Height/Weight: 6’-0”/170 pounds
Drafted: First Round (25th overall) in 2014
Contract: 3-year/$925,000, entry-level
Strengths: Puck handling, passing, agility, shooting
While looking at the highlights of David Pastrnak the first thing that pops off the screen is the 18-year-old’s excellent stick handling ability. When he has possession of the puck on the rush, he is great at setting up good scoring chances. Pastrnak makes up for his lack of strength and size by spinning defenders into the ice with fancy dekes. The young player from the Czech Republic has good speed and great agility. He is a tough player for defensemen to defend one-on-one because of his skill with the puck moving side-to-side. Although Pastrnak has not put up elite goal scoring numbers, he has shown he is capable of netting his fair share of goals with a quick release and hard shot.
Weaknesses: Defense, Size
While his offensive capabilities are clear, Pastrnak still has a lot of work to do on the defensive side of the puck. Scouts have noticed he can be susceptible to getting caught “puck watching”, and as a result can sometimes lose his defensive assignment. Not helping his defensive woes is Pastrnak’s size or lack thereof. Weighing in at only 170 pounds at 6-feet tall, he is expected to struggle on the NHL level if he does not add muscle to his frame.
Although Pastrnak made a good impression on Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli during the team’s developmental camp, it is a long shot that Pastrnak will make the Bruins roster this season. Despite the openings the team has on the third and fourth lines, there are players in the organization that are farther along in their development. Pastrnak will however get the experience of going through training camp with the team and should he continue to impress the team, Chiarelli does have a 10-game tryout period on the NHL level before Pastrnak’s entry-level deal would kick in. Odds are Pastrnak will be a player that will get his shot in the 2015-’16 season.