BRIGHTON, Mass – Boston University D-man Charlie McAvoy will indeed forego his final two years of college eligibility and has agreed to an ATO (Amateur Tryout Agreement) with the Boston Bruins that will allow him to begin practicing and playing with the Providence Bruins farm club. Bruins GM Don Sweeney said that McAvoy will begin practicing with the team immediately, and was spotted at Warrior Ice Arena on Wednesday presumably to sign his official contract with the Black and Gold.
The plan at this point is for McAvoy to suit up with Providence this weekend, and for the Bruins to continue negotiating with him on an entry level contract in the meantime. From the Bruins perspective the best course of action is to watch the 19-year-old play and perform in the pro hockey environment while it will give McAvoy a chance to show it if he thinks he’s ready for NHL action right now.
Sweeney didn’t rule out McAvoy playing in Boston at some point this season, and said the Bruins are keeping their options open with their top prospect.
“He’ll be headed down [to Providence] to play in games this weekend,” said Sweeney of McAvoy, who finished with five goals and 26 points in 38 games this season for the Terriers after being taken 14h overall by Boston in the first round of last summer’s draft. “It’s the first step. He’s made the decision to leave [Boston University] and we’re excited about that process. It leaves some options open, and I’ll continue to have ongoing discussions with his agent and we’ll see where that leads.
“His development has been very good. He was relied on heavily as a younger player [at BU], he grew into a leadership role this year and he obviously had a tremendous World Junior [performance] this year. He’s very, very talented and very young, and he’s gone through some growing pains as a result of that. But he played a lot and played in all situations, so it gave us a lot of good chances to watch him.”
It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see McAvoy go the same route as Brandon Carlo last season, and finish up the year in the AHL while helping him get ready for an NHL D-man job at training camp in the fall. There’s also the simple matter of not wanting to burn a year of his entry level contract by having McAvoy play an NHL game this season, and that’s part of the reason why the B’s and McAvoy’s agents continue to have discussions while the youngsters gets his feet wet down in Providence.