One of the most important off-season moves the Bruins will make this summer is the re-signing of David Pastrnak, a 21-year-old sniper who scored a career-high 34 goals and 70 points this season.
Pastrnak, the 25th-overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, has seen his goal totals rise in each of his three NHL seasons. He was second in team scoring to Brad Marchand this season and is one of the most important players as Boston makes a transition from an older core to a younger one and tries to build on its first-round playoff exit this season.
The Czech Republic native is a restricted free agent this summer.
On Friday from the NHL Draft Combine in Buffalo, Bruins GM Don Sweeney updated the status of contract negotiations with Pastrnak.
“Moving in right direction…” Sweeney said, adding: “We expect to complete a deal and for him to be a long-time member of the Bruins.”
Should the Bruins work on signing Pastrnak to a long-term deal, the terms will be interesting. While his first two years in the NHL weren’t explosive with point-per-game averages of .59 and .51, Pastrnak’s 2016-17 and what that means for his future is what the Bruins will be paying for. In that regard, he compares to such young stars as Mark Scheifele ($6.125 million) Filip Forsberg ($6 million), Johnny Gaudreau ($6.75 million) and Sean Monahan ($6.375 million).
Currently, four Bruins forwards make $6 million or more against the cap: David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, David Backes, and Marchand. Should Pastrnak ink a long-term extension, something both he and the team seem more interested in than a bridge contract, the AAV could be expected to come in around that $6 million mark.