(Photo Credit: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

By: Steve McClure | Follow me on Twitter / X @stmcclure1993

David Pastrnak, a ten-year veteran of the Boston Bruins, turns 28 years old today. ‘Pasta’ is the team’s alternate captain and chief goal scorer.

Pastrnak was born in the city of Havirov in the Czech Republic in 1996. He lost his father to cancer in 2013, and his passing became further motivation in the youngster’s drive to be a professional hockey player, as it was his father’s dream for his son. When Boston selected Pasta 25th overall in the 2014 NHL draft, Pastrnak pointed skyward in salute to his dad. 

The dazzling right-winger has potted 348 regular season goals for Boston in his career, which already places the young star at number seven on the Bruins’ all-time list. He also became the first Boston Bruin to register three 30+ goal seasons before the age of 23. Over the last five NHL seasons, only Auston Matthews and Leon Draisatl have scored more times than Pasta. In 90 playoff contests, the 28-year-old has produced at a strong 39-48-87 rate. His seventeen regular-season hat tricks rank him second behind Phil Esposito’s 26 in franchise history.

A fan favorite, Pastrnak has scored 40 plus goals in four of the last five seasons—scoring only 20 goals in 48 games in an injury-ridden 2019-20. He is one of the league’s most lethal powerplay weapons, chalking-up 113 career goals on the man advantage. Able to score from almost anywhere on the ice at any time, the 6-1 forward is most potent stationed in the circle slapping one-timers past beleaguered netkeepers.

Well-liked by teammates and respected by opponents, the superstar’s infectious personality makes him well-suited to be the face of the team’s franchise. Combining his spirited nature with his on-ice skills and productivity designates him as one of the NHL’s greatest draws. As Pastrnak reflected this past spring, “It’s my job to score goals, but, at the same time, I play in the best league in the world, so I don’t take it for granted…but I love scoring, so it makes me happy.”

Pasta’s 61 goals in 2022-23 certified him as only the second Czech-born player to score 60 goals in a season—Jaromir Jagr was the other to do it in 1995-96. He is currently competing for Team Czechia on the international stage at the IIHF World Championships, playing on the team’s top line with fellow Bruin Pavel Zacha. This is his fourth appearance with Czechia over the years.

Happy birthday, Pasta!