We all saw an emergence of David Pastrnak last season but what he is doing right now, this year, is remarkable on a number of formats. How so? Let’s dig in.
He leads the league in goals
I’ll start with the low hanging fruit. He leads the league with 36 goals currently with just 48 games played. His career high was achieved last year (38) across 66 games played (37% more games played). The fantastic part with David is that he’s on path to increase his goals scored for a FIFTH CONSECUTIVE SEASON (2015: 10 goals, 2016: 15 goals, 2017: 34 goals, 2018: 35 goals, 2019: 38 goals, 202: who knows!).
He also started his NHL career with a 10.8% scoring percentage and has seen that increase to 13%, 14%, 16% and is now on an insane 19% scoring. Power play goals, same trajectory where he had just two during the 46 games he played in his first NHL season (2014-2015) and is now up to 16 this season (for the record his total 27 Power Play points is behind only Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl). McDavid is winning the points race but Pastrnak is playing the Ovechkin to his Crosby right now.
When he’s scoring is impressive
This is an important stat. Pastrnak opens up the scoring for Boston which lauds his accomplishments even more. He has 15 goals in the first period this season, six more than any other player. He’s not padding stats when the Bruins have a game in hand or even scoring after the goalie has already let in one or two and it off his game. Pasta is coming out hot in each game when the goalie is at their mentally strongest.
He’s on track to make history
Pastrnak’s season is making a strong push to be among the greatest goal scoring Bruins seasons of all time. He’s on pace for 63 goals this year which would be the most since Ovechkin scored 65 back in the 2007-08 season. The only Bruin to score more than 63 goals in a season? Phil Esposito. When Esposito is mentioned among where you are trending, you are in elite company.
Could he be Connor McDavid’s greatest challenger?
I don’t make this point lightly. Since the start of the 2017-2018 season, Pastrnak is 2nd in the NHL in goals (his 109 goals is two ahead of Connor McDavid and Nathan McKinnon and 19 behind Alex Ovechkin). If we are looking at the future Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin—with Connor clearly cementing himself as one half of that argument—the other half might not be Nathan McKinnon, Auston Matthews or Patrick Laine but instead David Pastrnak.
Perhaps it’s narrow minded to assume we have to emulate that two premier player battles, perhaps in this current times we can respect a broad pool of insanely talented players.