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Bruins GM gives update on potential David Pastrnak contract extension originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
He has averaged 35.8 goals scored per season over the last six years, and only five players in the league have found the back of the net more times than Pastrnak since the start of the 2019-20 season.
Pastrnak led the Bruins with 40 goals during the 2021-22 regular season despite missing 10 games. He tallied six points (three goals, three assists) in seven playoff games against the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Bruins absolutely need to keep Pastrnak long term. That process could ramp up this summer, when the team is able to sign Pastrnak to a contract extension. His current deal expires after the 2022-23 campaign.
Where do the two sides stand right now?
"It's just a general conversation exit wise in terms of having the opportunity at the earliest possible time allowable for us to have a conversation with his camp. And he knows that, there's mutual respect from David, me and his camp," Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said Wednesday during his end-of-season press conference.
"And we'll dive right into it at the earliest possible time that we're allowed to and get that indication. There's never been an indication otherwise that this is where he wants to play. He wants to win. He's obviously a great player and an important player for us. And we'll attack it like we have done with all the other players that we feel the same way."
The Bruins selected Pastrnak 24th overall in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft. He quickly developed into a top-six forward and one of the most dynamic scorers in the sport. It's so difficult to find players of his caliber in the draft, which makes keeping them a top priority.
Pastrnak is playing on one of the most team-friendly contracts in the league. It's a six-year deal with a $6.67 million salary cap hit. Players of Pastrnak's caliber and age generally earn between $8 million and $10 million per season. The Bruins would be wise to pay him in that range over seven or eight years given his immense importance to the team's offensive success at 5-on-5 and the power play.