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Is Charlie McAvoy the Next Erik Karlsson?

Is Charlie McAvoy the Next Erik Karlsson?
Published On: Wed, Aug 08
Jan 7, 2015; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson (44) defends against Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) in the second period at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Charlie McAvoy is likely the next great Boston Bruins defenseman, but he could be much more than that.A The 14th overall draft pickA of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft is about to embark on his sophomore season in the NHL following an impressive rookie campaign. The 20-year-old played alongside Zdeno Chara on Bostona€™s top defensive pair last season.

Erik Karlsson is arguably the best defenseman in the league today. The Ottawa Senator has racked up two Norris Trophies (placing second for the award two other times) and is a four-time All-Star.A McAvoy, on the other hand, has a long road ahead of him in the NHL. While his ceilingA is universally considered high, just how good he could be is up for debate. He has just a single season under his belt but given his solid performance during his rookie year, the 20-year-old will likely follow up with an even better showing during the 2018-19 season.

In 63 games during his rookie campaign, McAvoy produced seven goals and 25 assists. He logged an average of 22:09 of ice time per game and was trusted with first-pair duties. He played great defense and was mentored by one of the fiercest players in the game: Chara. McAvoy will be handed the defensive reigns when Bostona€™s captain retires, and there is no better way to handle the changing of the guard than by placing the two alongside each other.

McAvoya€™s biggest strength is his offensive game. He can execute long stretch passes, skate the puck into the opposing teama€™s zone (sometimes very deep into the zone) and shoot. His speed has been one of his greatest assets since his junior-league days.A He finished fifth in the Calder Trophy race, an award given to the best rookie in the NHL, and wasA named to the leaguea€™s first All-Rookie team.

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