At the 2014 NHL Draft, the Boston Bruins selected a player who GM Peter Chiarelli believes can have a big impact on the organization in future years. With their 25th overall selection, the B’s picked David Pastrnak. The Czech native was not over exuberant when notified of his selection; he simply kissed his hands and pointed to the sky. Pastrnak’s father passed away last May and was not able to see his son selected in the first round of the NHL draft.
Prior to the draft in Philadelphia, the Bruins’ Brass sat down with Pastrnak for dinner. Frequently described as an electric winger with a rocket of a shot, Bruins President Cam Neely and Chiarelli said they were particularly impressed with Pastrnak’s professionalism and personality. Chiarelli explained that the youngster has had a really good upbringing, and that makes him respect the game a lot more as a profession.
Although many people have compared Pastrnak to future teammate David Krejci, there are several major differences between the two Czech’s styles of play. Pastrnak is much more of a natural winger, and he thrives with the puck on his stick. At just under 6-foot, 167 pounds, what the 18-year-old lacks in size he makes up with speed and grit. He is not afraid to go in the corners, but when Pastrnak is consistently bodied up on the boards, he tends to lose confidence with the puck. Maybe he can learn a thing or two from Krejci’s poise on the ice.
The B’s did not select Pastrnak in the first round to have him try to work his way up from the fourth line. Rather, he was drafted in hopes of developing into a talented goal scorer who can be an offensive force even in the most competitive league in the world. Many speculate that Pastrnak is still several years away from being NHL ready, however, if he continues to grow and profess at a steady rate and shows confidence with and without the puck, don’t be surprised if head coach Claude Julien gives the young Czech some ice time next season.