David Pastrnak talks Bruins’ return to ice, Hart Trophy candidacy & more

(Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

In the coming weeks, David Pastrnak plans to make the overseas trek from Prague to Boston — where the dynamic forward will join his teammates back on the sheet at Warrior Ice Arena for the first time in months. 

As for the first thing the 24-year-old winger plans on doing when he returns stateside?

"I don’t know. Get tested for COVID?” Pastrnak quipped.

During a year in which most of the world has been turned on its head — it’s reassuring to know that the B’s top goal scorer still hasn’t lost his sense of humor.

Speaking for the first time since the 2019-20 campaign grinded to a halt, the 24-year-old winger shed some light on a number of topics — including Boston's hopes for a Cup title, his candidacy for the Hart Trophy and much more. 

While plenty of his teammates are either already on the ice in Brighton or planning on taking part in Phase 2 of the NHL’s return shortly, Pastrnak has not put down a set timeline for his return to the organization — but added that he expects to rejoin the club before Phase 3 (official, full-squad training camp) ramps up on July 10.

"To be honest, I haven't got that far yet," Pastrnak said of when he expects to travel back to Boston. "But for sure, I would probably try to come a little bit before training camp, mostly to get more on-ice sessions and some practices with the boys. So I do not have the exact date for you, but it's gonna be pretty soon."

Still, even if he’s currently 3,800 miles from a majority of his teammates, Pastrnak has remained active — skating two times a week and working out 5-6 times a week since returning to Prague. Pastrnak has managed to keep his conditioning up by playing both soccer and tennis, while his weekly on-ice work and scrimmages features around 10 other NHLers, as well as retired stars such as Patrik Eliáš

"I pretty much leave the house at 10 a.m. and come back for dinner," Pastrnak said of his regular routine. 

Unlike clubs like the Lightning, Penguins and Hurricanes that are expected to return key cogs from major injuries due to the extended break, the Bruins have managed to relatively steer clear of the injury bug this season — with Don Sweeney noting on Friday that Boston expects every player except Kevan Miller (knee) will be given the green light to play once the 2019-20 campaign resumes. 

Still, even if Pastrnak was able to play in all 70 of Boston’s games this season, he was quick to note that