Projections for each Bruins player for 2016-17 season
Projections for each Bruins player for 2016-17 season
The Bruins didn’t make the playoffs last spring for the second straight season, and there are some very clear categories where the Black and Gold need to improve headed into this year. But it’s certainly not in the offense category where the B’s ranked fifth in the NHL in goals scored last season, and had three 30-goal scorers in Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Loui Eriksson leading the way.
They’ll be missing Eriksson from the mix after he signed with the Vancouver Canucks last summer, but the offense should still be a decided strength for the Bruins with World Cup heroes Marchand and Bergeron setting the tone for everybody else. So the Bruins should be at least as dangerous on offense this season as they were last year, and with that in mind here are the very scientific CSNNE projections for each of the players on the B’s roster.
Patrice Bergeron (29 goals, 33 assists for 62 points)
The numbers are down a little bit from last season, but Bergeron should be right in the neighborhood 30 goals and 60 points while again leading the Bruins in just about every imaginable way. The 31-year-old Bergeron is in the absolute prime part of a brilliant NHL career, and the B’s should do everything they can to extend this phase of his career for as long as possible.
David Krejci (17 goals, 45 assists for 62 points)
Krejci is fully healthy again and should be in the middle of some impressive offensive production with centers Ryan Spooner and David Backes on either side of him to start this season. It’s not really realistic to expect Krejci to all of a sudden become a 20-goal scorer, but he might have more scoring chances than usual if the “Three Centers” stick together as a line for an extended period.
Brad Marchand (31 goals, 22 assists for 53 points)
Marchand won’t quite reach the career-high 37 goals that he posted last season, but he will again lead the Bruins in goals scored with another strong campaign coming off his breakout World Cup performance. Consistent power play time equals 30 goal seasons for Marchand.
Ryan Spooner (20 goals, 31 assists for 51 points)
Spooner will get more goal-scoring opportunities on the wing, and will take more of a shoot-first mentality on the ice skating with playmakers like Krejci and Backes. If he does end up moving back to a third line center spot then it might be time to back off these numbers just a little bit.
David Backes (19 goals, 20 assists for 39 points)
Backes is showing that he’s a team-first guy by playing wing rather than center to start the season, and it will be his hard-nosed work that will allow Spooner and Krejci to post some strong numbers. The physicality and the leadership elements will be far more important when it comes to Backes.
Torey Krug (10 goals, 36 assists for 46 points)
Krug only scored four goals last season while playing with a torn labrum in his shoulder, and now it’s a little more understandable why his shooting was a bit erratic from the point. The expectation is that a fully healthy Krug will get back to double-digit goals this season, and be Boston’s most impactful D-man.
David Pastrnak (25 goals, 20 assists for 45 points)
Pastrnak is primed and ready for a big season at 20 years old in his third NHL season, and starting the year on the right wing beside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. My prediction is that this is the year he really breaks through and becomes the game-breaking force that his skills dictate that he should be as a fully developed NHL player.
Zdeno Chara (6 goals and 21 assists for 27 points)
Chara will have a productive season for a player that turns 40 years old during the year, but it’s clear that there’s a natural downturn with each passing season as he slows down. The big, booming slap shot is rarely unleashed these days, and Chara’s lack of recovery speed means much less risk-taking in the offensive end.
Matt Beleskey (15 goals and 20 assists for 35 points)
This is pretty much what Beleskey will provide for the foreseeable future in the offense department to go along with his roughly 250 hits, and the increased level of play he’ll provide if the Bruins can get into the playoffs this spring.
Colin Miller (8 goals and 24 assists for 32 points)
Miller still ended up one of the top producing rookie defensemen in the league despite spending the second half of the NHL season in Providence, and has all the tools to take off this season. It’s simply a matter of staying consistent and remaining confident moving the puck even if things get a little hairy for him during any rough patches during the season.
Jimmy Hayes (10 goals, 15 assists for 25 points)
It looks like Hayes will be sticking around for another season, but his numbers might take a further dip after high water marks in his final season with the Florida Panthers. Hayes just can’t consistently keep up the pace of play on a nightly basis, and isn’t able to get to the front of the net enough for a player with his mammoth size.
Danton Heinen (11 goals, 19 assists for 30 points)
The 21-year-old former University of Denver star will get his share of offense for the Bruins whether it’s on the fourth line, or moving up in the lineup when the injuries inevitably hit up front. This is a bit of a conservative estimate for Heinen, who could end up racking up more points than this if he gets power play time.
Kevan Miller (3 goals, 10 assists for 13 points)
These numbers are based on Miller returning to the lineup in a timely fashion, and producing as he did last season while finishing as one of the B’s most productive defenseman. Which isn’t saying much given their production level is all across the board.
Austin Czarnik (9 goals, 22 assists for 31 points)
Czarnik will push the pace, get in the face of opponents like an annoying little gnat and make things happen for his teammates thanks to his speed and hockey IQ. The question will be whether or not Czarnik can stay healthy at 5-foot-9, 170 pounds after he was unable to escape training camp without getting dinged up. But the offensive game is most definitely there for him.
Brandon Carlo (3 goals, 19 assists for 22 points)
Carlo has a knack for getting his point shots through, and it looks like he’s going to get a chance playing in every situation for the Bruins. It also looks like Carlo is going to start the season in a top pairing with Zdeno Chara, and that could lead to plenty of good offensive chances.
Riley Nash (6 goals, 12 assists for 18 points)
Nash will get opportunities to kick in some offense, but might also not get as many opportunities with Boston as he did with the Carolina Hurricanes over the last couple of seasons. It’s his versatility and rugged edge that will dictate his playing time up front for the B’s.
Noel Acciari (1 goal, 10 assists for 11 points)
Acciari will be in the lineup because of his hard-hitting style and his willingness to get in the face of just about any opponent no matter how big, or strong, they happen to be. Acciari had a goal to kick in more offense this season, but that will be a work-in-progress for a very viable fourth line candidate.
John-Michael Liles (2 goals, 11 assists for 13 points)
Liles should get some decent chances to move the puck and get his nose in there offensively, but certainly isn’t the same point producer that he was back in his early days with Colorado.
Dominic Moore (5 goals, 12 assists for 17 points)
Moore will kick in some offense from his fourth line spot, but it will be all about face offs, responsible two-way play and providing a little grit to the Black and Gold.
Adam McQuaid (1 goal, 9 assists for 10 points)
A typically modest offensive season for a player that always gives everything he has for the Bruins, but has been asked to do too much over the last couple of seasons. These numbers might be significantly less if the rookie B’s D-men really take hold of their early season stints.
Joe Morrow (0 goals, 11 assists for 11 points)
Joe Morrow is trending toward being the extra defenseman for the Bruins to start the season, and potentially hang around for another year with limited duty. He showed some fight for his job in the preseason, and that should buy him another year to try and develop his game as a former first round pick.
Tuukka Rask (33-21-6, 2.35 GAA and .921 save percentage)
Rask is going to bounce back from a better season, and really seems to have learned a few valuable lessons from last year playing behind a shoddy defense. Rask has a very high motivation level going into this season, and that’s nothing but a good thing for the Bruins.
Anton Khudobin (12-5-5)
As long as Khudobin does a good job keeping Tuukka Rask company throughout the season, cracks a few jokes and stops pucks with the same regularity that he has in the past, things are going to be all good. There are also some extra points for being super-happy about the chance to return to Boston after being happy here earlier in his career.