WILMINGTON, Mass. -- The notion of Boston Bruins prospect David Pastrnak earning a roster spot with the team out of training camp is not a stretch by any means.
The 18-year-old forward seems to have the skill and ability, and the right mindset, to make such a jump in his first pro season.
The Bruins selected him in the first round (No. 25 overall) in last June’s NHL Entry Draft, and he quickly impressed during the organization’s rookie development camp in July. Instead of continuing his offseason workout in Sweden, the Czech Republic native was asked to come to Boston to start skating with NHL-caliber players before camp begins.
Pastrnak has been here over a week now and he’s already fitting in nicely.
He will participate in national rookie camp with the Bruins from Sept. 12-17 in Nashville. He’s already impressed the Boston brass, but management won’t rush the prospect into unnecessary situations.
The Bruins have two roster spots open at the forward position. It’s too early to try to envision where Pastrnak would play if he makes the team, but an interesting idea would be for him to play with David Krejci and Milan Lucic on the top line.
After top-line right wing Jarome Iginla signed with the Colorado Avalanche as a free agent last July, Chiarelli and Bruins coach Claude Julien said veteran forward Loui Eriksson could be a good fit on the team’s top line. But if Pastrnak shines, it will be interesting to see if the Bruins give him a look on the right side with Krejci and Lucic.
The last thing Chiarelli wants is to put any pressure on Pastrnak this early.
“He’s going to start the rookie camp, so let’s see how he does there,” Chiarelli said. “He’s obviously a skill and speed package that you see out there [at captain’s practice] today. Take it slowly; we don’t really want to put him in a high-level spot quite yet. Let’s see how he does at rookie camp, the national rookie tournament, and if he lights it up, maybe he gets into the upper lines to start. We’ll see.”
If Pastrnak does not make the team, he will return to play in Sweden, per his contract.