By: Tim Richardson | Follow Me On Twitter @TimARichardson
Peter Cehlarik was drafted in 3rd round 90th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. When he was drafted, he was known as a big skater who was powerful on the ice. He has the ability to shield the puck from opposing players. He also had good vision on the ice and was able to pass the puck accurately to his teammates. When he was drafted then Bruins, GM Peter Chiarelli compared him to Michal Handzus. This is high praise. Handzus had a solid 15-year career in which he had multiple seasons of 40+ points, while also being able to contribute in the defensive end as well. Let’s take a look at how Cehlarik has done since being drafted.
The 2013-14 season was Cehlarik’s first since being drafted. He was only 18 playing for Lulea HF of the Swedish Hockey League which is Sweden’s high league. He played in 32 games for Lulea netting 2 goals and helping with 2 assists for 4 total points and +/- rating of –4. He also appeared in 2 playoff games for the club where he didn’t register a point and had a rating of 0. Overall as an 18-year-old playing his first full year in a new league he showed some flashes of good play offensively while also showing he had room for growth. I would call Cehlarik’s first season in Sweden a successful one.
The 2014-15 season was a year in which the Bruins hoped Cehlarik would grow and develop more. It was his full second season playing for Lulea in Sweden, and the hope was that he had grown more comfortable over the year and that his play would show that. This absolutely seemed to happen as Cehlarik improved greatly in his second season. In 46 games with Lulea Cehlarik netted 6 goals while tallying 13 assists for 19 total points and a rating of +1. He also was able to help in 8 playoff games potting 1 goal and dishing out 1 assist for 2 total points and a rating of –1. It was an extremely positive season for Cehlarik in which the Bruins were pleased with his progress. He was still a year or so away from playing in North America, but it was a season he could build upon.
The 2015-16 season was one that again the Bruins were hoping that Cehlarik could develop and progress with his play. Cehlarik absolutely did just that. In 46 games for Lulea, he netted 11 goals while dishing out 9 assists for 20 total points a rating of +7. In a deep playoff run for Lulea, he netted 3 goals while adding 2 assists for 5 total points and a rating of +3 in 11 games. The Bruins were extremely pleased with this season. So much so that they signed him to a 3-year entry level contract. He showed that he could potentially be a good mid-line player with the ability to put the puck in the net. This is something that every team needs to be successful.
The 2016-17 season was a big one for Cehlarik. It was his first season in North America, and he started out playing for the Providence Bruins. In 49 games with the Providence Bruins Cehlarik netted 20 goals and helped with 18 assists for 38 total points and a rating of +11. He also got in 2 playoff games with Providence registering 0 goals and dishing out 1 assist for 1 total point and a rating of 0. He was playing so well that he got a look with the Boston Bruins. In 11 games with the big club, he didn’t register a goal but dished out 2 assists for 2 total points and a rating of 0. Unfortunately, a shoulder injury derailed the end of his first season in Providence, but overall it was a very successful season for Cehlarik to build upon.
The 2017-18 season was one in which the Bruins and Cehalrik hoped he could contribute with the big club more. Unfortunately, this did not happen, but despite that, he still had a very good year in the AHL for Providence. In 35 games for Providence, he netted 11 goals while helping with 12 assists for 23 total points and a rating of +7. He also was in 3 playoff games for Providence potting 2 goals and 0 assists for 2 total points and a rating of 0. Cehlarik also managed to play in 6 games for the big club in Boston registering 1 goal, and 1 assist for 2 total points and a rating of +2. This was a good season for Cehlarik who started the year coming off of off-season shoulder surgery. He has shown his strength and scoring ability off and has developed nicely for the Bruins.
Coming into this season, the Bruins had a good amount of depth at the wing position. As a result of this Cehlarik has started the year in Providence and is playing very well. In 16 games for Providence, he has netted 2 goals while dishing out 8 assists for 10 total points and a rating of 0. When a young player spends time in the AHL, it is easy to get discouraged when you’re not being called up. This doesn’t seem to be happening to Cehlarik, If he continues his good play in Providence, we could potentially see him get another shot with the Bruins this year. Especially if injuries continue to pile up. Overall, I think Cehlarik can be a very good player who contributes to a contending team in the NHL. I just hope that happens with Boston.