The Boston Bruins announced today that their top draft pick of 2016 (14th Overall), Charles McAvoy, has signed an amateur try-out contract with their AHL affilate, the Providence Bruins. The deal means that McAvoy’s college career is over, and is likely a precursor to signing an entry-level contract with Boston.
Charles McAvoy Signs ATO with the Boston Bruins
Don Sweeney addressing media; said Charlie McAvoy has decided to forego the rest of his college career & will be signing an ATO w/Providence
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 29, 2017
The 19-year-old McAvoy has already had a star-studded career. Most recent was his playoff game-winner against North Dakota in second overtime. After four and a half periods, McAvoy scored off of an assist from former teammate Clayton Keller. Keller also recently signed with the team he was drafted by (Arizona Coyotes), and made his NHL debut only two days before McAvoy signed his contract with Boston.
What McAvoy gained the most attention for, was his success with the United States during the World Juniors of 2016. He had six points in seven games in the tournament, including a goal in the championship game against Canada. McAvoy helped propel the Americans offense through the tournament. This was especially apparent in the championship win over Canada, where McAvoy walked away with one goal and ‘Player of the Game’ honors.
McAvoy was just as influential with Boston U, during his two seasons there. He played a total of 75 games with the Terriers, and had 51 points in those games. What’s impressive about those points, is only eight were goals. Meaning that McAvoy had 43 assists in 75 games over the past two seasons; proving his play making abilities. Before his NCAA time, he played with the U.S. National Team Development Program.
McAvoy is one of the Bruins top prospects right now, and the ATO is a big step in what will hopefully be a long career. The team is hoping he can bring his two-way abilities to the NHL. McAvoy will report to the Bruins AHL affiliate in Providence, where he will play his first game on March 31st.
Scouting Report by Ben Kerr
Charles McAvoy is an excellent skater, with good speed and acceleration in both directions. He has very good agility, and edgework, which allows him to avoid forecheckers or to skate through traffic in the neutral zone to create offence. He also has good pivots allowing him to transition quickly from defence-to-offence and vice-versa. McAvoy’s strong skating allows him to cover a lot of ice. McAvoy has very good balance and is tough to knock off the puck. It also allows him to establish position in board battles and in clearing the front of the net.
Charles McAvoy moves the puck with a strong first pass. He is also a very good stick handler and can skate the puck out of the zone as well. McAvoy can lead the offense from the back end, either at the front of the rush or as a trailer. McAvoy’s speed allows him to take the puck deep on the rush, or to pinch in at the blue line and still get back defensively. In the offensive zone, he shows poise at the blue line with the puck on his stick, and has the vision and play making skill necessary to be a power play quarterback. His slap shot though could use some work, as it lacks power compared to the other top defenders in this class. He does have an effective wrist and snap shot though, and a good release.
McAvoy’s strong skating allows him to defend against the rush and to take away the middle and force forwards to the outside. McAvoy has shown the willingness to play physical. He needs to time his hits better though, as he has a tendency to get caught looking for a big physical hit instead of staying back and making the play. He could use some work reading the play and with his positioning but that will come with time. The strong skating and stick handling allow him to retrieve pucks quickly and avoid forecheckers quickly moving the puck up the ice and minimizing zone time. He really starts the transition game very quickly. Overall he’s been impressive in a top college conference.
McAvoy has the potential to be a top pairing defender, and be used in all situations at the NHL level. He will need some time to continue to develop, and will likely have some AHL duty ahead of him. In terms of style, McAvoy is reminiscent of Drew Doughty. This is not a talent comparison though, just a stylistic one.