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

Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak has just one year left on one of the NHL’s most favorable contracts.

Its next expansion should be much more player-friendly.

And, honestly, Pastrnak deserves it. He is one of the most talented forwards in the league and an extremely valuable player for the Bruins in 5-on-5 and power-play games.

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

Before Pastrnak scored a career-high 48 goals in 2019-20, the last B player to reach the 40-goal milestone was Glen Murray in 2002-03.

Only 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, GED: 111
  5. Kyle Connor, WPG: 111
  6. David Pastrnak, BOS: 108

So, now that we’ve outlined Pastrnak’s attacking 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 flowing through the system makes keeping Pastrnak something that must be done at all costs. It would be one thing if a few 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 the potential to make the top six. The Athletic recently released their top 50 prospect rankings and no Bruins players made the list.

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

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

Less than $9 million per season would be disrespectful to Pastrnak. He might be making $10 million a year on the open market, but he seems to like playing in Boston, and if there’s one thing Bruins general manager Don Sweeney does really well, it’s to re-sign their best players on team-friendly deals.

Matthew Tkachuk signed an eight-year, $9.5 million per season contract with the Florida Panthers last month after they traded him to the Calgary Flames. Tkachuk is coming off a 2021-22 season in which he hit career highs with 42 goals and 62 assists for 104 points. It was only the second time in six seasons that Tkachuk had surpassed the 61-point mark.

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

Based on Pastrnak’s production, age and UFA status, as well as contracts signed by similar players in the past year, a long-term extension worth $9-10 million per season would be a good result for him and the Bruins.

Posted In NHL

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