31-Year-Old Center – Boston Bruins
David Krejci Contract Information:
Signed a six-year, $43.5 million contract with the Bruins in September 2014.
Krejci dealt with a knee injury during the Bruins' first-round series against the Senators and was targeting the second round of the playoffs for a return, Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe reports.
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David Krejci: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Itís buy-low time on Krejci following a frustrating campaign in which the crafty center was hampered all year by injuries that limited him to 31 points in 47 games. Thatís not the sort of production expected from a player who carries a $7.25 million cap hit for six more years, and with the Bruins having shuffled the deck up front this offseason, itís critical that Krejci gets and stays healthy in advance of the 2015-16 campaign. When he's on, Krejci profiles as a highly skilled pivot who possesses tremendous hands, vision, and patience with the puck -- traits that make him a first-rate setup man. Although Krejci will no longer have the bruising Milan Lucic patrolling his left wing, top-six work and ample power-play duty remain in the cards for the 29-year-old center. The wild card here is who Krejci will skate with, but newcomer Matt Beleskey is a sharpshooting left winger, and he would seem a natural fit to ride shotgun with the center. In addition, second-year man David Pastrnak is a candidate to man Krejciís right wing, and if heís up for the challenge of top-line duty, the skilled duo could prove to be a very productive combo. While Krejci has yet to score at an elite clip during the NHL regular season, weíll continue to maintain that he boasts tantalizing point-per-game upside when heís healthy and working with suitable linemates. It remains to be seen if this is finally the year that Krejci takes his production to the next level, but assuming improved health, heís destined for a bounce-back of some sort at the very least.
Krejci, who the Bruins signed to an extension in September that will keep him around through 2020-21, finished last season as the Bruinsí leading scorer, with 19 goals, 69 points and a league-high plus-39 rating in 80 games. While Krejciís offensive skills are top shelf, to date, he has yet to score at an elite clip during the NHL regular season, in large part due to the Bruinsí typically balanced attack. Still, while manning the middle on the teamís top line and seeing power-play duty, he remains a highly-skilled setup man who possesses tremendous hands, vision and patience with the puck. Krejci, who can be a streaky player, still possesses tantalizing point-per-game upside and thus retains fantasy utility -- moreso in leagues where his plus/minus numbers factor in more than his limited PIM (28 last season). While 30-goal scorer Jarome Iginla is no longer a Bruin, his place on the right wing of Krejciís line is now slated to be filled by the capable Loui Eriksson.
Krejci, who racked up 33 points in 47 regular season games in 2012-13, took things to the next level in the playoffs, notching 26 points in 22 postseason contests. While Krejci has yet to score at an elite clip during the regular season, he remains a highly-skilled setup man who possesses tremendous vision and patience with the puck, with the soft hands necessary to deliver tape-to-tape feeds in traffic. This season he is slated to skate on a line with a pair a power forwards who also posses touch -- Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla. Itís an intriguing combo to say the least. Weíve said it before and weíll say it again: Krejci can be a streaky player, but if he ever finds the next level of consistency within the Bruinsí balanced attack, he has 90-100 point upside.
While his 62-point output in 79 regular season games last season isnít dazzling, when he is on, Krejci is a highly skilled setup man who possesses patience with the puck and the soft hands to deliver crisp passes in traffic. After leading the postseason in both goals (12) and points (23) during the Bruinsí 2010-11 Stanley Cup run, perhaps more was expected of Krejci in 2011-12, but heís part of a very balanced attack and can be a streaky player. Still, if Krejci ever finds the next level of consistency, he has 90-100 point upside.
His 62-point output in 75 regular season games was solid enough, but to anyone paying attention it's obvious that Krejci is a gifted setup man who possesses patience, soft hands and 90-100-point upside. After leading the postseason in both goals (12) and points (23) he's no longer going to fly under the radar, however, so don't expect any bargains on draft day.
Krejci finished the 2009-10 season in a tie with Patrice Bergeron for the Bruins' scoring lead with 52 points in 79 games. Production-wise, that was a step down from his previous season (73 points), but Krejci still has big-time upside as a playmaker. His importance to the team was illustrated when the Bruins -- who found themselves up 3-0 in their playoff series with the Flyers -- went into a free-fall (eventually losing the series) after he went down with a dislocated wrist that required surgery. Krejci expects to be ready to go when training camp opens in September, and the B's can only hope at 100 percent, as his soft hands and deft touch are keys to his game. For now, he slots in as the team's No. 2 playmaking center behind Marc Savard, but his veteran counterpart may be dealt for cap reasons and if that happens it could lead to added responsibility/production for Krejci, who is quite capable of putting up a point-per-game pace, or more.
Despite playing all of the 2008-09 season with an impingement that required surgeons to shave part of his hipbone, Krejci still managed a breakout 73-point effort on top of a league-high plus-37 rating. For that, he was awarded a three-year, $11.25 million deal, a move that shows how confident the Bruins are that Krejciís hip will not be an ongoing issue. In fact, he didnít rule out being available for the teamís Oct. 1 opener. A year wiser and presumably more mobile following the repairs, Krejci has the upside to approach the 100-point mark in 2009-10, given his outstanding vision, patience and puck distribution skills.
The 27 points he scored in 56 games are misleading, as Krejci did not light the lamp until his 36th game. He didn't really start flashing his skills until a top line opportunity presented itself late in the season when Marc Savard went down with a back injury. When given more responsibility, Krejci showcased his soft hands and superior vision, in particular on the power play. He has rare patience with the puck for a youngster and as long as he gets the ice time, he could make a fantasy impact this year. At the very least, he is nice endgame pocket pick that could be very productive in stretches this season.
Krejci has a good chance to win a roster spot with the Bruins this year, especially after the team traded Petr Kalus to Minnesota in June. Krejci led the AHL's Providence Bruins in scoring last season, both in the regular season and the playoffs, and finished third in scoring among AHL rookies. He's a highly skilled playmaker with great hockey sense and very soft hands. Right now, he would line up as the team's No. 4 center, although he could be wind up centering the third line if Phil Kessel gets moved to the wing. Either way, don't expect him to see a lot of ice time this season, but he should play a bigger role as time goes by.
Krejci is a gifted playmaker who'll spend this season in Providence. He's a longer-term project so simply monitor his progress for now.