By: Zach Carlone | Follow me on Twitter @zcarlone21
Skating in his 935th career game in Thursday night’s win over the Buffalo Sabres, long-time Bruins center David Krejci collected three assists, with the first assist counting as his 700th career NHL point. He finished the game with two more and now has 702 points in 935 career games. Krejci has always been a constant product for the Bruins, and he sits eighth all-time in career points with the Bruins. What’s impressive about Krejci is how he’s been able to get this far.
Playing second-hand center behind Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron, Krejci has always supported the offensive side of the game with a play-making talent that has kept the Bruins secondary scoring relevant for the past decade. He collects more assists than goals and always gives his linemates the opportunity to score. He has, however, seen so many of his former and current teammates play on his wings, which makes him reaching 700 career points so astounding.
Krejci saw so many wingers play with him, and he was still able to produce at a high level. You could argue that he helped revitalize former Bruins wingers Loui Eriksson and Milan Lucic for a few of the best seasons of their career. Those players aren’t who they used to be, but when they played with the Bruins and David Krejci, they saw an uptick in production.
In his final season with the Bruins, Eriksson potted 30 goals and 63 points playing primarily with Krejci. Since then, he’s had 38 goals across 5 seasons with the Vancouver Canucks. The same trend follows with Lucic. Playing with Krejci and Nathan Horton in the 2010-11 season, Lucic had 30 goals and 62 points in the regular season and 12 points in 25 playoff games en route to a Stanley Cup victory. Since Lucic was traded from the Bruins at the 2015 NHL Draft, Lucic has only surpassed 50 points twice in seven seasons.
Krejci doesn’t get a ton of the spotlight in Boston with Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and David Pastrnak still around, along with former Bruins captain Zdeno Chara spending most of Krejci’s career with the team. The 63rd overall selection in the 2004 draft has always been a force on the offensive side of the ice and tends to get attractive matchups, with Bergeron occupying the role as the first-line center for the majority of Krejci’s career. He’s also been a beast of a “set-up man” on the first power-play unit.
Krejci has been through a lot with the Bruins throughout his career. After many playoff failures in the late 2000s with the team, his game took a turn for the better in the playoffs following. Earning the nickname “Playoff Krejci,” he turned in amazing stat lines in their first two Stanley Cup Final appearances with Krejci on the roster. In the 2011 playoffs, Krejci had 12 goals and 23 points in 25 games for the Bruins. In the 2013 playoffs, he collected 17 assists and 26 points in 22 games. He helped lead the team to a Stanley Cup victory in 2011, playing primarily with Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton.
Krejci sits seventh all-time in games played with the Bruins. His contract expires after this current season, and at 34 years old, we are reaching the end of his prime-playing career. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Krejci on the financial side of things, but for one thing, we do know this: he has been one of the most impressive, devoted Bruins over the past two decades. He’s collected over 700 points with different wingers almost every other season and still continues to produce. On the season, Krejci has one goal and 15 assists in 24 games. As head coach Bruce Cassidy said, it’s “on to 800” for Krejci to reach now.