Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Bruins' Rookie McAvoy to Likely be Paired with Chara for Game One against Sens



Two days after signing a three-year entry-level contract with the Boston Bruins, rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy will be thrown to the wolves alongside Zdeno Chara as the Bruins face the Ottawa Senators in Game 1 of their first-round series on Wednesday.

McAvoy was paired with Chara in practice on Tuesday, and head coach Bruce Cassidy likes to use the 40-year-old Chara as a mentor to young defenseman. It worked all season as Chara paired with rookie Brandon Carlo, but with Carlo and Torey Krug day-to-day with injuries, the open door has created an opportunity that the 14th overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft can relish.

"Being on the ice with so many guys that I've looked up to my whole life, it's just very special, I don't really have words for it, but all of those guys, there's so much I can pull, as far as information from those guys, on how to be a better player, how to be a better person, so right now I'm just trying to be a sponge," he said on Monday according to NHL.com.

McAvoy also took some time on the Bruins' first unit power play in Tuesday's practice. With four games of AHL experience under his belt, it's a pretty big ask to think that the 19-year-old can take control of a playoff game, or even hold his own without making a few glaring "rookie" mistakes, but regardless of how it turns out, the Bruins will know a lot more about McAvoy and his potential to impact the series with the Sens in 24 hours.