That day has come. Charlie McAvoy is a Bruin.
The long-awaited decision of McAvoy’s future was made earlier this week when the young defensemen opted to leave Boston University to turn pro. McAvoy, who is widely regarded as the Bruins’ top prospect, signed an amateur tryout agreement with the organization and headed to Providence to begin his much-anticipated journey.
Picture time for Charlie McAvoy. Catching up with former partner Matt Grzelcyk. pic.twitter.com/pwEpFlA7rZ
— Fluto Shinzawa (@GlobeFluto) March 30, 2017
However, Bruins fans may have to wait to see McAvoy lacing up at TD Garden.
McAvoy is technically playing under a tryout agreement right now and thus has yet to sign his entry-level contract. If the Bruins are smart, they’ll keep it that way for the remainder of this season.
Staying Put Is Good for Both Sides
McAvoy’s entry-level contract, which is worth $925,000, will keep him in Boston for three seasons. But, if McAvoy were to play a single NHL game this season, it would burn an entire year of his contract—meaning that McAvoy would become a free-agent a whole year earlier.
To be frank, the Bruins have no business wasting a year of his contract this season. For starters, this Bruins team, while sitting in a playoff spot, is a longshot to win the Stanley Cup. The realistic goal this year for the Bruins should be to get into the playoffs and prove that they belong to be there. Nobody should be expecting a Cup in Boston this summer.
So, bringing McAvoy up for the remainder of the season would be pretty wasteful, at this point. They’re better off keeping him in Providence and saving his talents for the three seasons that lie ahead.
On top of that, the time with Boston’s AHL affiliate this season will serve McAvoy well. Yes, the Long Beach, NY native was a standout at BU this season, and many believe that he could be the centerpiece of Boston’s blue line in the future.
However, the college game is much different from the professional game. Even his short stint in Providence this season could provide some extremely valuable learning experiences for McAvoy, who is just 19 years old.
Soaking It up With the Baby Bruins
Already, McAvoy has set his focus on soaking up as much as he can in the AHL this season.
“There’s a great group of veteran guys here along with some young guys who have a lot of experience, obviously,” McAvoy said after his first practice with the Providence Bruins, per the Boston Herald. I’m looking to be a sponge and pull as much information from those guys as I can and just get used to the pro game. I think that the guys here will definitely help me do that. Everyone throughout the organization has been very supporting of me, so I have a good feeling that this is the best place for me right now.
“I’m here in Providence. I’m very excited to be here. My immediate goal right now is to learn how to be a pro. I’m in an environment here that’s going to help me do that. I’m very thankful for that.”
If McAvoy is all that he’s been made out to be, then the Bruins’ future is in very good hands. But, for now, Bruins fans will have to be patient. Good things come to those who wait.
Cam is a Broadcast Journalism student at the University of Maryland. He’s the Boston Bruins Beat Writer at The Hockey Writers, and is an avid college hockey fan. Find him on Twitter @CamHasbrouck!