Torey Krug Looks to Set New Bruins' Record for Goals by a Rookie Blueliner

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffFebruary 26, 2014

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 10: Torey Krug #47 of the Boston Bruins shoots the puck against the Colorado Avalanche at the TD Garden on October 10, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Brian Babineau/Getty Images

With 25 games left on the Boston Bruins' regular season slate, Torey Krug—who has notched 12 goals in 57 contests to date—will take aim at Ray Bourque's team record of 17 goals for a rookie defenseman, which was recorded back in the 1979-80 season.

Meanwhile, Krug—who last month became the fifth blueliner in Bruins history to score 10 or more goals as a rookie—is just one tally away from matching the legendary Bobby Orr's 1966-67 rookie goal-scoring output for the B's and four goals shy of equaling Greg Hawgood's 16-goal finish for the 1988-89 edition of the team.

Krug—who made his Bruins' debut late in the 2011-12 campaign—isn't the game-changing, all-around force that the electrifying Orr was, and at 5′9″, 181 pounds, he can't match Bourque's power game. That said, Krug's high-octane brand of play compares favorably to that of the similarly undersized but skilled Hawgood, who captivated Boston hockey fans early in his career, with an entertaining style dubbed "Hawgie Hockey."

While Krug's defensive play is still a work in progress, the 22-year-old brings a blend of moxie, mobility and sharpshooting ability to the table, providing the Bruins' power play with a nice spark in the process. To date, he has recorded six of his 12 goals and 10 of his 20 assists with the man advantage.

Last season, the Bruins' power play ranked 26th in NHL, with a less than stellar 14.8 percent success rate. With Krug now in the mix—averaging 2:43 worth of power-play ice time per game—the B's have now coincidentally upped their success rate to 20.4 percent, good for eighth in the league.

While Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has emerged as a top Rookie of the Year candidate, Krug could still make a run at the Calder Trophy—an award that was captured by both Orr and Bourque—with a strong finish to the 2013-14 season.