ANTIOCH, Tenn. — David Pastrnak ended his rookie camp by playing right wing and scoring. The Bruins will take that going forward.
Pastrnak, who centered Anthony Camara and Seth Griffith in the first two games of the rookie tournament in Nashville, moved back to his natural position of right wing to play with Matt Lindblad and Alex Fallstrom in the finale of the tournament Tuesday, a 4-2 win over the Predators rookies.
It was in the second period that Pastrnak got his only goal of the tournament, a power play tally on a feed from Seth Griffith.
He was also named to the All-Tournament team by participating teams’ scouts and officials, which he probably solidified with his first period of the tournament back on Saturday. All in all, Pastrnak’s performance in the tournament was a very shiny mixed bag.
Pastrnak’s tournament in a nutshell: He has the speed and hands to play in the NHL right now. As expected, he needs work defensively, as his risk-reward style (taking the puck over the man almost always) will both lead to odd-man rushes for the Bruins and burn them.
Defensive deficiencies can be worth overlooking, however, and Pastrnak genuinely seems like he wants to follow any and all instructions to make him a better two-way player. Pastrnak also turned the puck over multiple times Tuesday, including a neutral zone cough-up that forced him to hook a Predators player to prevent a breakaway, which is something to keep an eye on.
Just one man’s opinion, but the only real issue that could keep Pastrnak out of the NHL this season is his size.
At around 170 pounds, Pastrnak is awfully light. Playing right wing Tuesday, his board work left more to be desired and, though he obviously likes going to the net, bigger defensemen didn’t have to do much to keep him from getting there.
“His wall work — one game, it’s hard to judge him — but that’s going to be a big issue,” Bruce Cassidy admitted after the game. “In the National Hockey League, you’re expected to win pucks on the walls, get them out or get them into the middle of the ice and get going, so that’s going to be part of this.
“It’s not just the speed part of the game, the individual and the puck skills; it’s the grunt work. They’ll get a look at that obviously in the exhibition season and go from there.”
Main camp begins on Thursday, with practices beginning Friday. Pastrnak will open the camp at right wing, with Peter Chiarelli hinting that he could start with Krejci.
Pastrnak said he feels good about where he stands after the camp, but that he has a long way to go. He said it as only he could.
“I feel I’m [on] the second floor and the NHL is [on] the fifth,” Pastrnak said. “So I have three more floors.”
Considering how often we’re all going to be saying his name in the coming days, we might as well say it right. After double-checking with the player, it is not “PASS-ter-nak,” as we’ve all been saying, but rather “POS-ter-nahk.”
Much like Brad Marchand (it’s “SHAND,” not “SHOND”) Pastrnak said he doesn’t mind if people get his name wrong. He did say that nobody gets it wrong here like they do in Sweden, where he plays for Sodertalje SK and where he’ll return if he doesn’t make the Bruins. There, they call him POL-ster-nahk.
“I don’t know where they got the L from,” he said plainly with a shrug.
Pastrnak said his nickname is Pasta. Given the weight concern, it wouldn’t hurt him to follow the you-are-what-you-eat diet.