The two young defenseman are primed for career years, and will be the backbones of the Boston Bruins defense for years to come.
Zdeno Chara is a great leader, but he is no longer the player he used to be. Many times last season it was utterly frustrating watching him. He is easily the slowest player in the NHL, but with McAvoy they form a very strong pair. Chara and McAvoy got the most minutes out of the Bruins defensive pairs. They were effective five on five, and also on special teams, Chara on the penalty kill, McAvoy on the power play. They play opposite styles (Chara focuses on his defense, McAvoy on a full ice, smooth skating game), and that is what makes them such a strong pair.
Mark my words, Charlie McAvoy will be one of the best defenseman in the league. The Hockey News already ranked him 10th among d-men. He might be the strongest skater I've ever seen. He seems to float across the ice. He's got a slick stick, and a great vision for the game.
McAvoy's contract, $14.7 million over three years, is a huge win for "Chuck." It's not too bad for the Bruins either. The former fourteenth overall pick will earn himself a grand pay check in three years. Meanwhile, he'll get to play in a city he loves, and for a team he loves. He will try to bring the Cup back to Boston. Knowing the culture in Boston, he might even stay after his contract is over. Tell me how none of the Bruins first line (Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak), which is the best in the league, are making $7 million. A team first attitude. Hopefully, that rubs off on Mac.
The reason the Bruins defense was so strong down the stretch was because of their depth. That starts with their second pair of Torey Krug and Brandon Carlo. I was saying this all year long: Brandon Carlo is extremely under rated. The guy simply gets the job done. He is the definition of reliable, and his game is mistake free. His contract is a bargain. At two years, $2.85 million, he is making $100,000 less than John Moore, someone who wasn't even playing for the Bruins in the playoffs.
The Bruins defensive depth was one of the keys to their Stanley Cup Final run, and it will be again with McAvoy and Carlo locked up. The Bruins have only a few more years left in this win now period. Bergeron, David Krejci, and Marchand are not any younger, and this will probably be Chara's final season. They are in the toughest division in the NHL, but this group is at the very front. Expect them to once again be among the select few in the league fighting for Lord Stanley's Cup.