David Pastrnak is a fan-favorite in Boston, and there is no shortage of reasons why.
For starters, Pastrnak put up 34 goals and 70 points through 75 games during the 2016-17 campaign – his first full season in the NHL. He registered a shooting percentage of 13% during that time, averaging a second short of 18 minutes of ice-time per game.
Being the 25th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Pastrnak of the Czech Republic was only 20 years old last season.
We can compare Pastrnak’s recent performance to a number of NHL superstars’ 20-year-old seasons in an effort to paint a picture of the winger’s future.
The requirements to make the list are simple:
- The player’s 20-year-old season was not his rookie season.
- The player appeared in more or as many games as Pastrnak (75) that season.
- The player did not score more goals than Pastrnak in their respective 20-year-old seasons.
(2007-08) – 32/45/77 (82GP)
Anze Kopitar is the only member of this list to accumulate more points than Pastrnak in their 20-year-old season. With that said, Pastrnak still scored two more goals than Kopitar did in the 2007-08 season.
In fact, Kopitar has never scored more than Pastrnak’s 34 goals in a single season. He only matched that total during the 2009-10 campaign.
The 11th overall pick of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft has only broken the 70 points threshold in six out of his 11 seasons in the NHL. He wears No. 11 for the Los Angeles Kings – the team with which he has spent the entirety of his NHL career. Kopitar is currently the captain of the club.
Kopitar’s shooting percentage of 15.9% during his 20-year-old campaign is his highest in a single season-to-date. He averaged 20:41 in time on ice – only eight seconds below his career average.
The two-time Stanley Cup winner also took home the Lady Byng and Selke trophies for his performance during the 2015-16 campaign. Though he was ultimately rewarded for his defensive play and sportsmanship, Kopitar put up 25 goals and 74 points in 81 games that season.
When appearing in more than 70 games in a season, Kopitar has never dipped below 60 points. His career totals rest at 255 goals and 736 points in 840 games.
(2007-08) – 19/18/37 (82GP)
Bruins fans are familiar with Phil Kessel. The winger was traded in exchange for two first-round picks and a second round pick. With those picks, the Bruins acquired Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton, and Jared Knight.
As the 5th overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Kessel jumped onto Boston’s roster from the get-go. During the 2006-07 season, his rookie year, Kessel took home the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy while netting 11 goals and 29 points.
Kessel turned 20 on October 2nd, 2007 – just in time for his sophomore season. That year, Kessel appeared in 82 games while producing 19 goals and 37 points. It would be the last season in which Kessel fell short of the 20-goal threshold.
He averaged 15:14 of on ice time during the 2007-08 season, producing most often at even strength. Kessel took 324 faceoffs that year, winning just 42.3% of them. The most faceoffs he has taken in a single season since then is 122 just two seasons later.
Kessel went on to play six seasons in Toronto but won two consecutive Stanley Cups as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Excluding his sophomore campaign, when Kessel appeared in all 82 games, he dipped below 60 points just once. His current career totals reside at 296 goals and 649 points in 832 games.
(2008-09) – 25/45/70 (80GP)
The name Patrick Kane resonates with even the most casual of hockey fans.
At the age of 28, the three-time All-Star and Stanley Cup winner scored 34 goals and 89 points last season. Kane collected the Hart Trophy following 46 goals and 106 points the season prior.
The first-overall pick put up 21 goals and 72 points to net him the Calder Trophy during his rookie season, appearing in all 82 games.
On November 19th of the 2008-09 campaign, Kane turned 20. It being his sophomore season, the Buffalo-native had the title of “Rookie of the Year” to live up to.
Kane scored four more goals and two fewer points than he did during the 2007-08 season, albeit in two fewer games. He notched 13 of his 25 goals on the power play. It remains the only season-to-date in which Kane scored more goals on the power play than he did at even strength.
In fact, exactly 50% of the 70 points Kane produced that year came on the power play – a feat he never came close to again. Even though he averaged roughly five fewer points from the 2010-11 season to the 2014-15 season, Kane’s 20-year-old campaign was one of his worst five-on-five performances from a scoring perspective. However, when your “sophomore slump” consists of 70 total points, you are an elite player. Especially when your career numbers rest at 285 goals and 752 points in 740 games.
(2008-09) – 34/35/69 (82GP)
Jonathan Toews was drafted third overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He broke into the NHL with 54 points in just 64 games during the 2007-08 campaign. Prior to his sophomore season, he turned 20.
Though Toews matched Pastrnak’s 34 goals during the 2008-09 season, he fell one point shy of the young Bruins’ 70. He has broken the 20-goal threshold in every season of his NHL career.
Toews netted 22 of those goals on the power play – two fewer than Pastrnak did. His shooting percentage of 17.4% is the highest of Toews’ career. He has never had a shooting percentage lower than 10.6%.
The following year, Toews took home the Conn Smythe Trophy en route to his first of three Stanley Cup championships.
Toews’ 2012-13 season granted him a trip to the All-Star game as well as a Selke Trophy.
The Chicago Blackhawks captain has never fallen below a 50% face-off percentage in a single season.
His career totals rest at 272 goals and 622 points in 717 games.
(2010-11) – 27/40/67 (80GP)
Matt Duchene made headlines this offseason with Avalanche GM Joe Sakic shopping the forward. He is just reaching his prime, so the Ontario-native certainly had the League interested.
This past season was Duchene’s worst statistically, featuring just 18 goals and 41 points in 77 games.
During his rookie season, the third overall pick of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft put up 24 goals and 55 points in 81 games.
Duchene turned 20 on January 16th of the 2010-11 campaign making it his official 20-year-old season. He scored 27 goals and 67 points in 80 games – his best statistically until the 2013-14 season. That year Duchene netted 23 goals while assisting on 47 for 70 points.
No. 9 had a shooting percentage of 13.4% during his 20-year-old season and has never dipped below 10% in a single season. His faceoff percentage was 50.4% that season, only falling below 50% during his rookie year.
Just like Pastrnak in the 2016-17 season, Duchene averages around 18 minutes of ice time per season. His career totals reside at 174 goals and 418 points through 572 games.
(2010-11) – 29/38/67 (79GP)
John Tavares is just five months older than Duchene. During his 2009-10 rookie season, the first-overall draft pick of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft accumulated 24 goals and 54 points in 82 games.
Prior to the 2010-11 season, Tavares turned 20 and scored 29 goals and 67 points in 79 games. Only nine of those goals were scored on the power play.
Tavares took a total of 53 penalty minutes that year, the most in a single season of his career. He averaged 19:15 of ice time compared to a career average of 20:02.
His 38 goals and 86 points earned Tavares a trip to the 2014-15 All-Star game.
As a 26-year-old, Tavares scored 28 goals and 66 points last season. He is responsible for leading an inconsistent Islanders program to the playoffs in 2013, 2015 and 2016. During that time, Tavares netted two overtime goals against the Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers.
Tavares is currently the captain of the New York Islanders and has the luxury of the team being built around him. Entering the prime of his career, Tavares is still hungry for his first Stanley Cup victory.
Tavares’ career totals currently reside at 235 goals and 537 points in 587 games.
(2011-12) – 29/38/67 (81GP)
Bruins fans remember Tyler Seguin all too well. The second-overall pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft was traded to the Dallas Stars after just three seasons in Boston.
In his rookie year, Seguin got to raise the Stanley Cup, scoring 11 goals and 22 points. He scored three goals and seven points in 13 postseason games during the championship run.
Mid-way through the 2011-12 season, Seguin turned 20. He scored 29 goals and 67 points that year. Only five of those 29 goals were notched on the power play while 10 of his assists spawned from the special teams unit. Seven of those 29 goals were game-winners.
Seguin now finds himself as the centerpiece of a Dallas Stars club that is seeking it’s second Stanley Cup in franchise history. During his first season in Texas, Seguin had his best year statistically – 37 goals and 84 points in 80 games.
This past season, Seguin put up 26 goals and 72 points while appearing in all 82 regular season games.
In Boston, Seguin only averaged about 15 minutes of ice time while he averages over 19 minutes with the Stars. The increase in ice time seems to have helped the 25-year-old and his team. The Stars made the playoffs in 2014 and 2016.
Seguin’s career totals to date resemble 189 goals and 427 points in 508 games.
Based on his numbers at the age of 20, many see David Pastrnak as the future of this Bruins team. It doesn’t stop there, however – Pastrnak is a potential superstar.
The seven members of this list average as a fifth overall pick. 20 picks higher than Pastrnak. They have eight Cups between them (11 if you count both Kane and Toews) and Pastrnak scored more goals or points than all of them at the age of 20.
The stage and expectations are set, now all Pastrnak has to do is follow through.
I cover the Boston Bruins and NCAA Hockey here at The Hockey Writers. Born and raised 10 miles north of Boston, I developed a love for the game of ice hockey at a very young age. There’s really nothing better than this sport, though steak is a close second.