TORONTO – Charlie McAvoy has been nothing short of outstanding in his first month of NHL duty.
The 19-year-old is the only NHL rookie averaging north of 20 minutes of ice time per game, he’s already logging penalty kill duty and facing the other team’s best players in a partnership with Zdeno Chara and he’s got a solid eight points of production in 14 games thus far.
He’s a minus player right now which is clearly something to work on, and he’s taken a couple of penalties along the way as well. But perhaps the biggest area where the Bruins would love to see growth from right now is McAvoy rearing back and shooting the puck, something that can create offense when he does pick his spots with his hard, heavy and accurate shot.
“Things happen quickly out there, and we trust his instincts and his vision. What you see is how you make the play, but, yes, we’d like to see him get more pucks to the net,” said Bruce Cassidy of McAvoy, who is on pace for a pretty solid six goals and 47 points as it is right now without any further shooting frequency. “I think it’s something that will gravitate to his game over time. I don’t think that’s something that will happen overnight, when you’re a certain type of player. We see with a lot of different guys where we’re overpassing, and we could shoot more often. We’re working on it.”
McAvoy was joined by both Torey Krug and Patrice Bergeron in that category in the third period vs. the Rangers on Wednesday night, as both premier offensive players passed up good looks at the net in favor of passes that never connected.
McAvoy didn’t have a single shot on net in either of Boston’s last couple of games, and has just one shot on net in his last four games. He’s talented enough to be a bigger factor on offense with more tries at the net per game, and then that can be added to his aggressive physicality and all-around workhorse game that he brings to the table.
It’s certainly something that the youngster knows could be another component to an already impressive all-around game.
“I think shooting the puck is something I want to do. It’s something where if a guy is open and he’s giving me the pass option I am going to make the play, and in that respect, I can be a pass-first guy,” said McAvoy. “But I’ve been talking to [Bruce Cassidy] about it, and he’s very good at expressing that he’d like to see me shoot the puck more. It’s something I want to do and it’s something I know I can do more. I just want to get more pucks to the net.”
What better place than Toronto for a multi-skilled player like McAvoy, with a seemingly endless amount of talent, to start generating a little more offense by throwing a little more rubber at the net?