The Boston Bruins have signed forward David Pastrnak to a six-year contract extension worth $40 million, as reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger on Thursday morning, just ahead of the start of training camp for the Bruins. The deal comes with a cap hit of $6.6 million per season over the next six years and will expire when Pastrnak is 27 years old and buys two years of unrestricted free agent status for the Bruins. Per Chris Johnston, the deal also includes some no-trade protection in the final two years of the deal for Pastrnak. It will also give the young winger an opportunity to cash in on another huge pay day at the end of this contract. After everything that was said and reported about this situation, the cap hit is more than reasonable for the production that the Bruins got from their 21-year-old forward last season.
Pastrnak extension with Bruins is complete. 6 years, $40 million. $6.6667 aav.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 14, 2017
There was a lot of concern over the offseason about whether or not the Bruins and Pastrnak would be able to agree on any contract. Given how late into the offseason the deal came, it’s understandable why there was some anxiousness on the behalf of fans. Still, a deal never appeared to be in doubt as both sides had expressed mutual interest throughout the offseason.
Following the contract extension to Leon Draisaitl that set the market for restricted free agents in 2017, many were worried that Pastrnak would demand significant money that may or may not have been beyond what he’ worth at this point in his career. There was even some concern that Pastrnak might leave for the KHL. Ultimately, that didn’t happen. When looking at other comparable restricted free agents who signed their contract extensions in the recent past, players like Mark Scheifele ($49 million over eight years with a cap hit of $6.125 million per season), Johnny Gaudreau ($40.5 million over six years with a cap hit of $6.75 million), Sean Monahan ($44.625 million over seven years with a cap hit of $6.375 million) and Flip Forsberg ($36 million over six years with a cap hit of $6 million), it’s clear that Pastrnak is right within the pay range of players earning their first contract coming off their entry-level deals.
Given the fact that Pastrnak was drafted with the 25th overall pick in 2014 and has played in all three seasons since he was 18 years old, the Havirov, Czech Republic forward has clearly proven that he is a legitimate NHL talent. With 10 goals and 27 points in 46 games as a rookie, Pastrnak showed signs of brilliance, though he also faltered as a rookie at times and his small stature didn’t help either. At 6 feet tall, Pastrnak’s height has never been the issue. Entering the league weighing roughly 165 pounds didn’t help, however, but the young winger has done his part to increase that size to just over 180 pounds while gaining confidence and experience at the NHL level.
In 51 games in 2015-16, Pastrnak scored 15 goals and 26 points. The goal production saw a well-deserved uptick while the point production didn’t follow suit. It wasn’t until Pastrnak’s third NHL season that he really shined, however. Breaking out in a big way, Pastrnak scored 34 goals and 70 points in 75 games and was one of the most dynamic offensive threats in the entire NHL. In addition to his offensive prowess, Pastrnak also showed that he could play a solid two-way game with some of the best possession metrics in the league alongside teammates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
Fresh off a contract extension and ready to enter his fourth year in the NHL, the sky is the limit for Pastrnak. At 21 years old, the Bruins could be looking at their cornerstone player for the next half dozen years before having to look at locking him up again for another big extension. When that time comes, the Bruins will hopefully have no issue with opening up their funds once again to pay the talented winger, assuming he continues to produce on this same trajectory.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.