UPDATED: 9:45 p.m. ET
The Boston Bruins have one more game to make a decision on 18-year-old winger David Pastrnak, as he’s nearing the point where he burns the first year of his entry-level contract and thus begins the CBA clock on his service time.
The question for the Bruins is whether it is worth burning an entry-level year even if the Czech native will spend the rest of the season going up and down should that be the best thing for his development.
"While it’s a significant part of the decision, it’s not the only part of the decision," Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli told ESPN.com Tuesday, referring to the CBA part of the equation.
The Bruins have been among the better organizations in the league at developing players, so there’s a comfort in how they’re approaching this.
It’s an interesting decision, though, for a team that’s been calling around all season looking for a winger who could play a top-six role, hoping to find a boost for its offense.
Meanwhile here’s a kid coming off consecutive two-goal games, a teenager who doesn’t turn 19 until May, yet seems to be at ease on the big club.
"He’s a real talented kid, his development has been really positive in that while he didn’t have to go to [AHL] Providence [at the start of the season] but made a collaborative decision and went there with an open mind knowing he had to get better on a smaller rink," said Chiarelli. "He really embraced it."
Chiarelli praised assistant GM Don Sweeney and the coaching staff in Providence for the work they did with Pastrnak.
This is his second NHL call-up.
"We’re having another look at him. We’ll see how it goes," said Chiarelli.
"He’s got a real good two-way component to his game for such a skill guy. He wants to learn. He looks up to David Krejci, a fellow countryman, there’s a lot of good things here. But we just have to keep monitoring his development."
It’s probably too much to ask Pastrnak to be the answer from within in terms of the top-six offensive help that the Bruins have been searching for. Word around NHL circles is that Chiarelli continues to look around for a winger ahead of the March 2 trade deadline.