Center Patrice Bergeron has played his entire NHL career up to now with the Boston Bruins after being taken with the 45th pick in the 2003 NHL Draft. He played just one year of junior hockey in Canada in the Quebec Major Junior league with Acadie–Bathurst Titan and cracked the Boston lineup shortly after the draft. Bergeron helped the Bruins win the 2010/11 Stanley Cup by scoring the game-winner against the Vancouver Canucks in the seventh and deciding game of the final series.
The 6-foot-1-inch, 195 lbs. Bergeron, who hails from L’Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec, played in the Young Stars Game as a rookie and finished his 2003/04 debut campaign with 16 goals and 23 assists in 71 games and four points in seven playoff contests. Since the NHL went through a lockout in 2004/05, Bergeron gained more pro experience by playing with Boston’s AHL affiliate in Providence and racked up 61 points in his 68 games on 21 goals and 40 assists and added a dozen points in 16 playoff encounters.
Bergeron was back in Boston in 2005/06 and led the team with 31 goals and 42 assists for 73 points and backed it up with another 70-point season the next year. He played just 10 games in 2007/08 after suffering a season-ending concussion and returned to action the next season, but was re-injured and missed a month of action.
He won his first of four Frank J. Selke Trophies in 2011/12 for being the best defensive forward in the NHL while posting 64 points and would win it again in 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2016/17. Bergeron was a plus-36 in 2011/12 to lead the league and was the second-best faceoff man by winning 59.3 percent of his draws. Along with Bob Gainey, Bergeron is the only NHL’er to win the Selke Trophy four times. He was also the winner of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2012/13 for leadership qualities and humanitarian work off the ice.
With Bergeron proving to be a consistent scorer, playmaker and faceoff man in both the regular season and playoffs the Bruins signed him to an eight-year extension in 2013 at a cost of $52 million. He reached 30 goals again the next season and helped Boston capture the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s top regular-season outfit. Bergeron is widely considered to be one of the best two-way players in hockey and he centers one of the top lines in the NHL with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak on his wings.
As well as being a threat at even strength, Bergeron has excelled on special-team units with over 235 power-play points during his NHL career and another 32 while playing shorthanded. He’s an experienced veteran who isn’t afraid to drive to the net to create offense for himself and his teammates. Bergeron can be depended on in any type of game situation due to his skills, two-way commitment and vision. He may be wise to add a few pounds to his frame though since he’s suffered a few injuries during his career.
On the international scene, Bergeron has won gold at the World Championships and World Junior Championships as well as twice at the Olympics in 2010 and 2014. He was the most valuable player and an all-star at the 2004/05 junior championships. Bergeron belongs to what is known as the Triple Gold Club as he’s won a Stanley Cup, a World Championship gold medal and an Olympic gold medal.
Hockey Sense: Bergeron’s physical tools are nothing to write home about. His effectiveness lies in how he outsmarts and outcompetes the opposition, constantly thinking one move ahead to nip a play in the bud or create one for his teammates. He often drifts into soft spots to present the Bruins with a passing lane and processes the game very quickly on the rush.
Defense: The perennial Selke candidate has a single minus season on his resume. His positioning is airtight and he possesses one of the most disruptive sticks in the NHL. Bergeron has long represented Boston’s defensive conscience because he’s simply always on the right side of the puck. He’s brilliant on faceoffs as well.
Shot: Though not quite a sniper, Bergeron is a strong shooter in stride and from a one-timer position. The latter has proven especially useful to the Bruins on the power play, as Bergeron regularly slips into the high slot and unloads a slapper before the PK can react.
Speed: The Bruins’ heart and soul is a capable if slightly underwhelming skater. That flaw was easily covered by his sterling hockey IQ and positioning in the past, but as he ages and the league continues to get faster, Bergeron is beginning to lag a bit behind the cream of the crop.
Driving Offense: Bergeron has produced very well throughout his career. However, he’s reached a point where he relies heavily on his linemates to generate opportunities. He struggles to create something out of nothing. Bergeron is more of a facilitator and finisher than a catalyst.