Appearing on Felger and Mazz, Bruins president Cam Neely said Thursday that the Bruins do not intend to burn the first year off top prospect Charlie McAvoy’s entry-level contract this season.
McAvoy, a right shot defenseman who recently concluded his sophomore season for Boston University, left NCAA last month to sign a professional tryout with the Providence Bruins. He has not yet signed an entry level contract; should he this season, playing one NHL game would make this season count as the first of the three-year deal.
Following McAvoy’s decision to leave school, The Boston Globe reported that the expectation was for the Bruins to play him in a game this season, which would bring him a year closer to his next contract.
Neely refuted that, saying that the Bruins intend to play McAvoy in the AHL this season and then play him in the NHL next season, as the Blue Jackets did with Zach Werenski when the highly touted defenseman left Michigan last season.
“That’s not accurate,” Neely said of the report. “Don [Sweeney] has had a number of conversations with the player and the agent about what we feel is going to be best for his development, and then we said if we feel there’s an opportunity where we think he can help us when we need him, then that’s a different story, but we look at how Werenski in Columbus, how he went to the minors and the year he’s having this year instead of jumping right into the NHL.
“The defensive position at the NHL level is a strong learning curve. He’s got all kinds of skill. We know the skill he has; we just need a little more structure.”
The Bruins selected McAvoy with the 14th overall pick in last year’s draft. In two games for Providence, he has two assists.
While McAvoy will likely not play in Boston this season, the Bruins did agree to burn the first season off fellow Boston University product Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson's entry level deal.