Both the present and the future are indeed bright for the Boston Bruins, and the Black and Gold representation on the NHL Network's "Top 20 defensemen right now" list is just further affirmation. Both 21-year-old Charlie McAvoy and 28-year-old Torey Krug ended up making the list of the top defensemen headed into the 2019-20 season.
McAvoy moved up five spots from his position as 19th on the list last summer, while Krug held strong at the 16th spot for the second year in a row after putting together a Conn Smythe-worthy postseason on Boston's run to the Stanley Cup Final. On Sunday night's NHL Network show highlighting the list, NHL Network analyst and three-time Stanley Cup champion Ken Daneyko had nothing but positive things to say about Krug's place within the current pantheon of D-men.
"Don't look at his stature, he can skate. We saw him in the playoffs bring some physicality. Helmet off, just flying into everybody," said Daneyko of Krug. "I love guys that play the game that hard, and Torey Krug [has a] deceptively hard shot from the point. … [He] plays 10, 15 pounds heavier and two inches taller than he really is."
McAvoy and Krug are in the top-20 list of defensemen right now, and they'll also be among the highest paid D-men at this time next year. McAvoy is an unsigned restricted free agent who's going to earn a handsome raise when he finally does sign a contract for this upcoming season and beyond. Krug has put together three straight 50-point seasons, and is entering the final year of his contract with the Bruins before he'll become an unrestricted free agent.
In addition to McAvoy and Krug, teammates Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak ranked fourth and 10th, respectively, on NHL Network's Top 20 Wings Right Now last week while Patrice Bergeron ranked seventh on Top 20 Centers Right Now two weeks ago.
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Bruins' Charlie McAvoy, Torey Krug make NHL's list of Top 20 defensemen originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston