The Bruins secured a piece of their future for the long haul on Friday, inking defenseman Charlie McAvoy to an extension.
ESPN NHL reporter Emily Kaplan reports that it’s an eight-year, $76 million contract with a $9.5 million AAV. McAvoy was drafted by Boston with the 14th overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft out of Boston University. McAvoy made his debut in 2017, immediately becoming a stalwart on the Bruins blue line.
McAvoy was so impressive that general manager Don Sweeney rewarded him with a three-year, $14.7 million bridge deal in 2019, which ends after this season. The 23-year-old American was set to be a restricted free agent at the end of the season, but Boston elected to lock up their star defenseman after seeing the trend that took place in the offseason.
McAvoy is the fifth young and budding defenseman to receive an extension north of $9 million this offseason. He joins the Avalanche’s Cale Makar (six years, $9 million AAV), the Blackhawks’ Seth Jones (eight years, $9.5 million AAV), the Blue Jackets’ Zach Werenski (six years, $9.58 million AAV) and the Devils’ Dougie Hamilton (seven years, $9 million AAV). McAvoy is notably the first Bruin to not take a team discount on an extension, which we saw Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak do in recent years.
McAvoy enters the 2021-2022 season looking to improve on his fifth place Norris Trophy finish, awarded to the top defenseman in the NHL. In just 51 games last season, McAvoy tallied five goals and 30 points with a plus-minus of 22, eighth among defensemen. To win a Norris, McAvoy will need to improve his production on the power play, as he recorded only eight points with the man advantage. Still, however, McAvoy is arguably the best defenseman in the league at driving play at both ends, while dominating on the penalty kill.
Upon signing, McAvoy said that he was excited to continue doing what he loves, without the stress of worrying about his contract.
“There’s no place I’d rather be,” McAvoy said. “I’ve wanted to be in Boston since the moment I’ve been here. It’s been a dream to come to BU and be able to stay here. It’s just been such a dream to get to this point. I can’t be happier than I am right now.”