Bruins

What would a fair contract extension for Pastrnak, Bruins look like?

Bruins
David Pastrnak

Boston Bruins right winger David Pastrnak has just a year remaining on one of the most team-friendly contracts in the NHL.

His next extension should be much more player-friendly.

And, honestly, Pastrnak deserves it. He's one of the most skilled forwards in the league and an extremely valuable player for the Bruins during 5-on-5 action and the power play.

Pastrnak's 61 5-on-5 goals over the last three seasons lead the Bruins. He ranks second on the team in 5-on-5 points with 120 during that same span. The third-place 5-on-5 scorer is Patrice Bergeron with 85. Pastrnak has averaged 35.8 goals over the last six seasons. He's hit the 40-goal mark on two occasions, including last season even though he missed 10 games.

Before Pastrnak scored a career-high 48 goals in 2019-20, the last B's player to hit the 40-goal milestone was Glen Murray all the way back in 2002-03. 

Just five players have scored more goals than Pastrnak since the start of the 2019-20 campaign.

  1. Auston Matthews, TOR: 148
  2. Leon Draisaitl, EDM: 129
  3. Alex Ovechkin, WSH: 122
  4. Connor McDavid, EDM: 111
  5. Kyle Connor, WPG: 111
  6. David Pastrnak, BOS: 108
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So, now that we've outlined Pastrnak's offensive prowess, what kind of contract does a player of his caliber deserve? How far should the Bruins go to keep him long term?

 

For starters, the Bruins' lack of quality young talent coming through the system makes keeping Pastrnak something that must be done at all costs. It would be one thing if a couple prospects were ready to burst onto the NHL scene and could replace some or most of Pastrnak's production. But that's not the case at all. Outside of Fabian Lysell, no prospect in the Bruins' system has top-six potential. The Athletic recently released its top 50 prospect ranking and no Bruins players made the list.

Pastrnak, along with No. 1 defenseman Charlie McAvoy, is one of just two Bruins players under 30 with high-end talent. 

The Bruins have the advantage of being the only team able to offer Pastrnak an eight-year deal. If he leaves and signs with another team in free agency, his max term is seven years on a new contract. An eight-year pact with an annual average value (AAV) of $9.5 million would be a good deal for both sides. It would match McAvoy for the highest-paid player on the team and would be the largest AAV ever given to a Bruins forward.

Anything less than $9 million per season would be disrespectful to Pastrnak. He could maybe fetch $10 million per year on the open market, but he seems to enjoy playing in Boston, and if there's one thing Bruins general manager Don Sweeney does really well, it's re-signing his top players to team-friendly deals.

Matthew Tkachuk signed an eight-year deal worth $9.5 million per season with the Florida Panthers last month after they acquired him via trade from the Calgary Flames. Tkachuk is coming off a 2021-22 season in which he tallied career highs with 42 goals and 62 assists for 104 points. It was just the second time in six seasons that Tkachuk had surpassed the 61-point mark.

Tkachuk's former Flames teammate Johnny Guadreau signed a seven-year deal with a $9.75 million AAV with the Columbus Blue Jackets last month. Nashville Predators left winger Filip Forsberg also was UFA eligible and re-signed on an eight-year deal worth $8.75 million per season.

Based on Pastrnak's production, age and upcoming UFA status, plus the contracts signed by similar players over the last year, a long-term extension worth between $9-10 million per season would be a good outcome for both him and the Bruins.