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McAvoy Hoping to Build on Postseason Experience

Blue liner has eyes on solidifying roster spot

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins /

BOSTON - Charlie McAvoy has never played in a regular season National Hockey League game.

But unlike many of his fellow rookies across the league, the blue liner will have plenty to build on should he make the roster out of training camp. The 19-year-old looked poised beyond his years in an impressive six-game stint with the Bruins during last April's opening-round playoff series against Ottawa.

And he'll be sure to draw from his experiences as he tries to solidify a permanent spot with Boston in 2017-18.

"I think that the experience I had last year was an unbelievable opportunity," said McAvoy, who joined 13 of his teammates for a captain's practice at Warrior Ice Arena on Friday morning.

"That experience was so valuable for myself to get familiar with the organization and the team itself, and I can use that now heading in for the full year, the rookie camp, opening the season, all of those things.

"I'm excited to have a full year and I can definitely use all of those experiences that I had to make sure I'm ready to go."

During that first-round loss to Ottawa, McAvoy played alongside Bruins captain Zdeno Chara on the team's top defense pairing. He notched three assists over the six games, while averaging 26 minutes, 11 seconds of ice time, which lagged slightly behind Chara's 28:45.

"A good amount," McAvoy said when asked how much confidence he gained from that postseason cameo. "I feel very comfortable coming in here. That being said, it's going to be a very competitive camp. A lot of guys here are looking for the same spots that everybody else is looking for - I'll definitely use those experiences and play with confidence and play my game."

Video: McAvoy arrives at Bruins captain's practice

McAvoy spent a large part of the offseason in Boston, working out at his old stomping grounds at Boston University and the B's practice facility in Brighton, as well as playing a few games in the Summer Pro League down in Foxborough.

"I went home [to Long Island] for a couple of weeks to see my family and friends, but for the most part, I was living here in Boston and working out at BU and skating here at Warrior…[the summer] tends to go pretty quick," said McAvoy.

"I think it was a very successful summer as far as working out and using the time to recover, and now it's coming close and I'm ready to go."

The next step for McAvoy will be participating in the Prospects Challenge in Buffalo, which is part of Bruins Rookie Camp. The B's will play three games during the tournament, one each against prospects from the Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins.

"I think it just kind of allows everybody to get thrown into the fire there and hit the ground running, really," said McAvoy. "There's not really much you can do in the offseason to kind of emulate game circumstances and game pace, so I think the best way to get that back is to just play.

"I think this is a good opportunity to go to the rookie camp, play a couple of games, get my game pace back and then when training camp comes along and we're playing real training camp preseason games, hopefully I'll be ahead of the pace there."

In the end, McAvoy hopes everything he has built since his stellar postseason debut translates into a spot in the Bruins lineup on Oct. 5 against Nashville.

"I think pulling from last year's experience, a couple of things that I learned, as far as the game that I want to play, the game that I think allows me to have success," said McAvoy.

"I can hopefully just pick up where I left off, and play the way that I need to play to help the team and just do everything I can to put myself in a great spot to be on that opening night roster."

NOTE: Friday's captain's practice roster included forwards Matt Beleskey, Patrice Bergeron, Jesse Gabrielle, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, and Riley Nash; defensemen Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, Emil Johansson, Torey Krug, Jeremy Lauzon, McAvoy, Adam McQuaid, and Kevan Miller; and goalie Malcolm Subban.

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