20 under 25: Charlie McAvoy is the future for the Bruins on the back end

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As David Pastrnak is the future of the Bruins at the forward position, 20-year-old Charlie McAvoy is the future for the Black and Gold on the back end.

The former first round pick and Boston University standout had an excellent rookie season for the Bruins last year when he posted seven goals and 32 points in 63 games while missing time with a knee injury and a heart condition that required surgery. By the end of the season he was logging minutes as a top pairing D-man with Zdeno Chara and playing in all situations as the future No. 1 defenseman that he’s envisioned to be in the next few seasons.

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McAvoy can skate, pass, shoot and has the mentality to hit and play the physical game, and will be the kind of D-man that can impact the game at both ends of the ice when he’s at his best. Even better, he can play big minutes and has always been a workhorse throughout his young career that gets better as the grind of a game wears on.

Really the only downside to this point in his career is the time missed with injuries and physical problems. He missed 19 games last season with the heart issue and a knee injury, and he missed 20 games this season with a concussion that forced him to miss most of the first two months of the regular season.

Clearly McAvoy would benefit from a long stretch of healthy, effective and high impact hockey for the Black and Gold, and the team clearly needs his transition play and the way his passing instincts create good scoring chances. With his rookie contract up after this season, McAvoy’s durability and overall health could be the difference between a bridge contract and the kind of massive second deal handed out to a player like Pastrnak.

Either way, though, McAvoy is the heir apparent to Chara and one of the players expected to carry the next generation of Bruins as the last remnants of the 2011 Stanley Cup team enter the twilight of their respective careers. 

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