Charlie McAvoy is a Boston Bruin.
He’s been one since June 24, 2016, when he was chosen 14th overall in the NHL Entry Draft held at the First Niagara Center (now the KeyBank Center) in Buffalo. He’s going to be one for the next nine seasons after coming to terms on an eight-year, $76 million extension announced Friday.
With one year left on his current three-year contract valued at $4.9 million per season, McAvoy will become the highest paid Bruins player in history when his $9.5 million annual salary kicks in for the 2022-23 NHL campaign.
Those numbers might make some grimace at the thought of so much of the cap being allocated to one player, but to know McAvoy is to understand that he’s worth it.
The Bruins and Don Sweeney, along with assistant GM and resident capologist Evan Gold are to be lauded for holding the line against rising salaries around the league for as long as they did. Inevitably, Boston was going to cross the nine-million threshold, so to do it for one of the youngest, most complete defensemen in the game makes sense.
Looking back, it seems absurd that the Boston University star was passed over by 12 other NHL teams before the B’s jumped on him. Auston Matthews went first overall to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but after him, there aren’t many players you can confidently project over McAvoy. But McAvoy was Boston’s guy all along. They knew what he could do, and while other defensemen like Jakob Chychrun and Dante Fabbro certainly intrigued and impressed, the B’s scouts were all about one guy- the surfing hockey prodigy from Long Island.