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Pastrnak signs six-year, $40 million contract with Bruins

Restricted free agent forward's deal worth $6.67 million annually

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

BOSTON -- David Pastrnak signed a six-year, $40 million contract with the Boston Bruins on Thursday. It has an average annual value of $6.67 million.

The 21-year-old forward was a restricted free agent. He set NHL career highs in points (70), goals (34) and assists (36) in 75 games last season after he had 53 points (25 goals, 28 assists) in 97 games his first two NHL seasons. He was second on the Bruins in goals and assists in the final year of his three-year, entry-level contract.

Pastrnak missed the first day of training camp Thursday and is expected to join the Bruins by Saturday.

Video: Pastrnak signs 6-year, $40M deal with Bruins

"It's nice to be a full team again and to have him back," captain Zdeno Chara said. "It's always nice when you don't have players missing more time, whether due to injuries or negotiations for example. ... So it's nice to have all the guys being together and just the focus can be on our training camp and work on what we have ahead of us."

General manager Don Sweeney and Pastrnak's representatives negotiated throughout the summer. 

"To me, I always said we were going to find a deal," Sweeney said. "It took time right up against it; there wasn't a deadline, we didn't look at it that way, there was a strong level of communication. And I just think the work paid off for both sides to find a good landing spot. I know that both sides are extremely happy to have it resolved and get the full complement of camp, which I think everybody would acknowledge is in the benefit of everybody's interest."

Sweeney said there's always risk in signing a young player to the term and salary Pastrnak received. But the Bruins have faith Pastrnak will continue to mature into a player worth the contract.

"He scored 34 goals; it probably starts there," Sweeney said. "He really went to work on his shot, his overall strength, his ability to get to areas of the ice."

Tweet from @pastrnak96: Thank you @NHLBruins excited be a Bruin for next 6 years and especially Thanks to this lady I wouldn't be where I'm without her #LoveuMom

Pastrnak tied for the Bruins' postseason lead with four points (two goals, two assists) in six games last season, when they lost to the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference First Round. It was Pastrnak's first time in the NHL playoffs.

"We want to see that next progression for him as well," Sweeney said. "We realize teams are going to play him differently and harder, and he'll have to accept that and get past that as all good young players have to go through that."

Coach Bruce Cassidy, who replaced Claude Julien on Feb. 7 and helped the Bruins make the playoffs for the first time in three seasons, is running his first training camp since Boston announced April 26 that he would be retained.

Video: The guys analyze Pastrnak's contract extension

"He's a dynamic player," Cassidy said of Pastrnak. "He backs the opposition [defensemen] off; you have to respect him on his ice because of his ability to quick strike. He's a dynamic player and he's also got a great one-timer on our power play. So there's a lot of team meetings where the other team is talking about [how] he can beat you offensively. That's what he means to the team.

"He's a very good offensive player. He's becoming daily a better, more accountable 200-foot player. Some of that you have to give credit to the veteran guys he plays with, some of that's obviously his own growth."

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