Twenty one years old and brimming with enormous talent, David Pastrnak checks off all the important boxes as a historically certifiable trade chip for the Boston Bruins.
Not yet anyway.
One day after the NHL Network’s Brian Lawton kicked up a minor stir on Twitter, claiming that a Pastrnak trade would not be a surprise to him, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney squashed the idea.
“Not trading Pastrnak,” Sweeney communicated succinctly in an email to the Boston Globe via Kevin Paul Dupont.
Whatever trouble Boston is having while ironing out the details on a new extension for Pastrnak, it’s hard to imagine any scenario where moving the winger would work out in its favor.
Pastrnak broke into the top tier of NHL marksmen last season. He managed 34 goals despite seeing his shooting percentage normalize to 13 percent by the end of the year. Patrick Kane, Alex Ovechkin, Jeff Carter, Viktor Arvidsson and Connor McDavid were the only other 30-goal men who converted at a rate closer to league average. Pastrnak hitting 70 points in only 75 games, turning in a points-per-game rate that only narrowly missed the top 10.
In addition to production, Pastrnak also has underlying metrics on his side in negotiations. Primarily deployed as one third of Boston’s top-heavy No. 1 line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, Pastrnak was a key member of arguably the league’s most dominant line in terms of shift-to-shift performance. The trio counted shots for at impressive rate, but truly excelled as shot suppressors.
Boston has a little over $10 million in projected cap space, and every remaining contributing asset under contract for next season. So while Pastrnak is ultimately at the mercy of his organization due to his restricted status, he is unquestionably in a favorable position following his head-turning 70-point campaign.
But with just a single season as a dominant force, and other holes on Boston’s roster, the Bruins must work to preserve every last dollar for next season and throughout the life of a presumed long-term agreement.
So while there’s no trade forthcoming, escaping the holding pattern the two sides are in doesn’t seem imminent, either.