Pastrnak

Pastrnak

The Bruins’ decision to start 18-year-old first-round pick David Pastrnak with Providence of the American Hockey League rather than keep him in the NHL or send him to his team in the Swedish Elite League is paying off.

Not only are the P-Bruins red hot, but Pastrnak is tearing up the AHL. And for his efforts he was named the AHL Rookie of the Month for October on Monday.

In seven October games he had two goals and seven assists. For the season he now has three goals and seven assists for the P-Bruins, who are in first place in the Atlantic Division and have won five in a row.

But the best number might be Pastrnak’s plus/minus rating: plus-9 for the season. The Bruins knew Pastrnak had the speed and offensive skills to thrive as a pro in North America. However, he needed to learn to play defense and so far it seems he’s improving. Even playing most nights with center Alexander Khokhlachev, another prospect that’s in the minors because of his need to improve his defense, hasn’t slowed down Pastrnak. And the P-Bruins are a winning outfit even without three of their top six defensemen, who are playing for Boston.

If Pastrnak continues on his current pace, the Boston Bruins are going to have a difficult decision. If they call him up, his entry-level contract will start. If they leave him in Providence, they might miss out on his valuable skill and creativity.

Of course, first Pastrnak has to keep playing the way he has. We’ll see how the teenager handles the AHL once teams have a book on him and once the season wears on his 170-pound body. Regardless of where he’s playing, Pastrnak will be fun to watch.