News service report

BOSTON — The Boston Bruins are hoping to build off last season, when they reached the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in three seasons. They took a step in the right direction by signing forward David Pastrnak to a six-year contract worth $40 million on Thursday.

The team had been negotiating with the restricted free agent over the summer. Pastrnak had career highs with 34 goals, 70 points and a plus-11 last season.

“I always said we were going to find a deal,” Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney said at a news conference at Warrior Ice Arena. “There was a strong level of communication. And I just think the work paid off for both sides to find a good landing spot.”

Pastrnak, a native of the Czech Republic, was a first-round pick in the 2014 draft. In his three-year NHL career, he’s registered 59 goals and 64 assists in 172 games.

The 21-year-old will make $6.67 million a season. He’ll be the Bruins’ third highest-paid forward after centers David Krejci ($7.25 million) and Patrice Bergeron ($6.87 million).

Sweeney also addressed the status of 40-year-old captain Zdeno Chara, in the final year of a seven-year, $45.5 million contract that he signed in October 2010. While the 6-foot-9 defenseman might not be the same franchise defenseman that captured a Norris Trophy in 2009, he’s not interested in hanging up his skates just yet.

Sweeney acknowledged that Chara has shown an interest in continuing to play after his current contract expires, adding that the Bruins are also interested in working on a new deal with talks expected to continue into the new season.

“I’ve had talks with (Chara),” Sweeney said. “Our indications are, as he’s indicated, that he would like to continue to play hockey. We would like to continue to have him as a member of the Boston Bruins.

“We’ll monitor that as we go through camp and as we go through the start of the season and continue to have those talks. It’s important for him to understand that we’re in his corner in that regard. But there’s no timetable to have those discussions. But I think he wants to play, I think he can play, I think he’s an impactful player.”

The Bruins are entering their first training camp under Coach Bruce Cassidy, who led them to an 18-8-1 record and their first playoff berth since 2014 last season as the interim coach after the firing of Claude Julien. Pastrnak’s signing will allow Cassidy to implement his systems and strategies with a full complement of players.

“Well, we are a better team with him in the lineup, I think that’s obvious,” Cassidy said. “So it’ll be great to see him. I think the players would feel the same way, but good for Donny to get it done.”

Cassidy described Pastrnak as a “dynamic” offensive player who is improving as a two-way player.

Teddy Purcell, a former University of Maine forward, is in camp with the Bruins on a tryout. The 32-year-old has played in 571 games over 10 NHL seasons, but spent most of last season with the Kings’ AHL affiliate in Ontario, California, where he had 10 goals and 28 assists in 38 games.