David Pastrnak has all the makings of being a star forward for the Boston Bruins as his raw skill represents a change in the team’s philosophy. The thought of him lining up next to his idol David Krejci is enough to make any Bruins fan happy. No one will question the kid’s talent and potential, but the thought of him opening the season in the NHL is almost laughable.
While he excelled playing against men in Sweden last year, Pastrnak has no experience on North American ice and needs an adjustment period. The Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League hold his junior hockey rights, and he would surely improve what was a dismal Bulls squad last season. Allowing Pastrnak to dominate his age group may be seen as a regression, but the physicality of the OHL would help mold his game to better suit the rigors of North American hockey.
In terms of playing against men, Pastrnak could either stay with Sodertalje, his Swedish team, or come over and play for the Bruins’ American Hockey League affiliate. Playing in the AHL for the Providence Bruins would allow him to refine his game against men on smaller North American ice surfaces and be able to play with the Bruins if he is needed. Having Pastrnak as option rather than a primary option is what’s best for him and the Bruins.
Look for the Bruins to take it slow with Pastrnak as he won’t be ready to join the squad opening night. Allowing him to develop at his own pace either in Providence, Belleville or in Sweden will surely help Pastrnak become a better, more well-rounded player. When he’s ready he’ll be a special player who will be worth every minute of wait time. That’s something which is surely music to the ears of an already elite team.