Pastrnak is playing his ninth game of the season and a decision had to be made before his 10th on whether to keep him in Boston or send him back to Providence of the AHL. His NHL entry-level contract is now locked in, and the 18-year-old forward will continue his development with the Bruins.
Chiarelli added that there could be games when Pastrnak does not play, but it’s important for his development to practice and compete at this level.
Chiarelli also said it is possible that Pastrnak could be sent back to Providence for a game or two if needed.
The next CBA milestone for Pastrnak is if he plays 40 games this season, which would trigger his free agency a year earlier. David Pastrnak has four goals in nine games this season, which has earned him a place on the Bruins’ roster for the season, the team announced Thursday.
“We take into account when we make a decision, but if his development or his play in waning to the extent that we have to look at that again we might,” Chiarelli said. “We feel pretty confident in him taking that next step developmentally. You don’t ignore that stuff, you keep an eye on it but we’re prepared to commit to him up at this level and continue to develop him properly.”
Chiarelli said he spoke with Pastrnak and gave him a honest assessment of the decision and what is expected of him, making sure he doesn’t become complacent.
“It doesn’t mean you’ve got a lock, nothing is guaranteed in life,” Chiarelli said he told him. “But you’ve earned it.”
Part of the reason the Bruins decided to keep Pastrnak in the NHL was because he dominated and excelled with and without the puck at the AHL level.
“I feel he has done very well in his apprenticeship in Providence, which I think has been the most important progressive step in his development,” Chiarelli said.
Boston selected Pastrnak in the first round (No. 25 overall) in last June’s NHL Entry draft. He entered Thursday’s game against the New York Rangers with four goals and one assist in eight games.
The Bruins currently sit in 8th place in the Eastern Conference and need something to spark the offense and help gain some ground before the playoffs begin. Tonight the Bruins will face the Columbus Blue Jackets who embarrassed the Bruins 6-2 in their last meeting. With the speed and potential of David Pastrnak, the return of Zdeno Chara and David Krejci and improved play in front of Tuukka Rask the Bruins may be one trade away from assembling a competitive team for the long stretch to the Stanley Cup…