After going from the Sr. Chowder Cup to the National Hockey league in under a calendar year, former Boston Knights Charlie McAvoy and Clayton Keller have spent much of the 2017-2018 NHL season in the conversation for best first-year men in the league.
Despite a recent injury, it has been quite a year for McAvoy since leaving Boston University and signing his first professional contract with the Boston Bruins in late March of 2017.
After a handful of games in the American Hockey League, McAvoy made his National Hockey League debut for the Bruins in last season’s playoffs, playing all six games, recording three assists.
McAvoy, an early season Calder Trophy candidate, has backed-up his debut performance with an equally impressive rookie campaign throughout the 2017-2018 season for Boston. In his first 59 games played of his official rookie season, the defenseman had totaled 25 assists, 32 points and a +26 rating, which – at the time of publish – ranked 11th, 17th and 2nd amongst NHL rookies. McAvoy’s 22:06 minutes per game also ranks second amongst rookies.
One of McAvoy’s Knights teammates, who led the team in points (12) during the 2016 Sr. Chowder Cup with nine goals and three assists in three games played, Keller has also been impressive during his inaugural NHL campaign.
Another former Boston University Terrier, Keller was also among the early favorites for the Calder Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s best rookie. Through his first 79 games played for the Arizona Coyotes in 2017-2018, Keller totaled 23 goals scored and 40 assists. His 40 assists and 63 points rank second amongst NHL rookies and his 20 power play points ranks fourth. The pivot also leads the Coyotes in goals, points and power play points.
The Knights will be returning to NEPHL play this season, starting with May’s Pre-Draft Showcase.