After negotiations were relatively quiet all summer, it appears David Pastrnak and the Boston Bruins are making progress on a new deal for the superstar winger with training camp well under way.
Contract discussions between the Bruins and Pastrnak are "heating up," TSN's Darren Dreger reported on Thursday's edition of Insider Trading.
Dreger added that "both sides are assessing the market right now" and that Pastrnak is "clearly hopeful" that something will get done sooner rather than later.
The news comes after NHL insider Elliotte Friedman recently told Jeff Marek on the 32 Thoughts Podcast (h/t BosHockeyNow's Jimmy Murphy) that Pastrnak's camp was open to contract negotiations during the season.
There had been speculation over the summer that the Bruins could trade Pastrnak, but he essentially put those rumors to rest, telling reporters earlier this month that he would love to sign an extension with the Bruins:
"This city is where I got the chance to become the player I am, to become the human being I am. Boston, the organization is an unbelievable part of it. I came here as a kid and now I’m a man. I’m extremely happy. A lot of great memories. I’ve said many times I love it here and it’s an honor to wear this jersey.”
The Bruins selected Pastrnak 25th overall in the 2014 NHL draft, and he's considered one of the biggest steals of that draft class. He signed a six-year, $40 million deal with the Bruins in September 2017, and his deal is expected to expire after the 2022-23 campaign.
With the way the NHL market is trending, Pastrnak will become one of Boston's highest-paid players if he inks a new deal with the franchise, joining star defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who agreed to an eight-year, $76 million deal with the franchise in October 2021.
Since making his NHL debut during the 2014-15 season, Pastrnak has tallied 240 goals and 264 assists for 504 points in 510 games. His best season came during the 2019-20 campaign, when he scored a career-high 48 goals to capture the Rocket Richard Trophy as the NHL's leading goal scorer. He also notched 47 assists.
In addition, the 26-year-old has found tremendous success in the postseason despite not yet capturing a Stanley Cup, tallying 30 goals and 44 assists for 74 points in 70 games.
Pastrnak enters the 2022-23 season with high expectations after he tallied 40 goals and 37 assists for 77 points in 72 games during the 2021-22 campaign.
He's expected to be one of Boston's top scorers again alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, though with the return of David Krejci, he could play alongside his fellow countryman and Taylor Hall to begin the season.
The Bruins open the season on Oct. 12 against the Washington Capitals.