After posting 10 goals and 17 assists through 46 games at age 18 with the Boston Bruins, it was assumed that David Pastrnak would be too integral to the Bruins to find his way to Helsinki for the 2016 World Junior Championship.
But Bruins GM Don Sweeney said on Thursday that loaning Pastrnak to the Czech Republic national team “hasn’t been ruled out.
Pastrnak has been sidelined since Halloween with a broken foot and the loan may serve as something of a confidence booster and conditioning assignment for the 19-year-old.
If he is loaned, it would be huge for the Czech team, who has rostered him in the last two World Junior Championships. Last year, he contributed a goal and six assists through five games at the tournament. Prior to that point he hadn’t contributed much in North America, spending most of his time in the AHL. He brought that momentum back with him and became a key piece for the Bruins in the NHL.
Maybe there’s hope he could do that again, assuming that in his last year of eligibility for World Juniors he would be able to carry the play even more.
If he does get loaned, he’d instantly become a player to watch, making the tournament just a little more exciting.
Pastrnak is still recovering from injury and is not expected to travel with the team for their upcoming road game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has two goals and two assists through 10 games for the Bruins this season.
GM Don Sweeney was asked about Pastrnak's status in regards to availability for World Jrs;said it hasn't been ruled out. Stay tuned for more
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 17, 2015
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.