By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12
David Pastrnak is certainly no secret around here. The 22-year-old’s talent is on display on a nightly basis as people all across New England make the trek to TD Garden, or tune into NESN or 98.5 The Sports Hub to watch or listen to this bright young player do his thing.
Pastrnak has gone from an elite young player oozing with potential to a superstar (who is still oozing with potential; he’s only 22, mind you). His talent and production has not gone unnoticed around these parts as he was recently voted #1 in NBC Sports Boston’s “Top 20 Under 25” for 2019.
The Czech forward currently sits at 27 goals and 29 assists for 56 points through 49 games this season, and he is on pace for 45 goals, 49 assists, and 94 points. Last season, No. 88 scored at a near point per game clip, too, with 80 points (35G, 45A) in 82 games. He’s also scored the most goals all-time out of any Bruins player under the age of 23 (121).
After being selected to represent the Bruins on the Atlantic Division team in this year’s All-Star game, Pastrnak is preparing to make his first appearance of his young career at All-Star Weekend.
With his first selection to the All-Star game, Pastrnak could finally be getting the recognition he deserves, at least on the national level. Like I said, David Pastrnak is no secret in and around Boston, but in national conversations he is often overshadowed by other elite young players like Kyle Connor, Brayden Point, Dylan Larkin, Patrik Laine, and William Nylander (who, for whatever reason, thought he was worth more money than Pastrnak despite not being all that close to Pastrnak’s point or goal production last season, and only has four points– 1G, 3A–in 20 games this season).
Now, I’m not trying to say that these guys are not worthy of the attention they receive; of course, they are. However, Pastrnak’s meteoric rise to “superstar” status in the NHL has been nothing short of amazing; his point totals are as follows: 27 points in 40 games as a rookie in 2014-15, 26 points in 51 games in an injury-plagued 2015-16, 70 points in 75 games in 2016-17, 80 points in 82 games in 2017-18, and now 56 points through 47 games this season, as previously stated.
In fact, looking back at his 2014 draft class, Pastrnak makes a strong case to be worthy of the No. 1 overall selection if the draft were to be redone. Currently, he has the second-most career points of that draft class with 259 in 303 games, just nine points behind Leon Draisaitl with 268 in 319 games.
On a side note: the 2014 NHL Entry Draft was absolutely loaded with forward talent, such as Draisaitl, Pastrnak, Point, Larkin, Nylander, Sam Reinhart, Viktor Arvidsson, and Nikolaj Ehlers (to name a few, woof). Right now, it’s looking like Pastrnak, Draisaitl, and Point are all making very strong cases to be considered the best player to come out of that draft.
Pastrnak does more than just score goals for the Bruins, too. A player that isn’t afraid to throw his body around, go to the dirty areas, hustle, backcheck, and take hits himself, Pasta does it all. He sees the ice brilliantly and has fantastic hands, although he is prone to turnovers, which just happen when one has the puck on his stick as much as he does.
Now, with his first All-Star selection (of many, hopefully), Pastrnak’s name is now cemented in the national conversation more than it ever was before. He’s still getting better, too, continuing to push passed other elite players from his draft class and around the league, cementing himself as one of the league’s best (tied-18th in points and tied-ninth in goals).