Just because star rookie Charlie McAvoy has been sidelined for much of the Boston Bruins' surge through March doesn't mean he hasn't been busy.

McAvoy, the NHL's leader in average ice time among all first-year players when he suffered an MCL sprain early in the month, has yet to fully return to Boston's playoff-bound defense. But the 20-year-old is making a name for himself away from TD Garden as well, visiting the Smart Light Sports facility in Woburn, Mass., this week to give away free hockey gear to special needs athletes.

Founded in 2010, Smart Light Sports aims to help children with physical or learning disabilities find a way onto their respective sports fields -- or ice. And McAvoy, with just about two weeks until his team's first action of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, was there to surprise nine different kids with new helmets, sticks and skates from CCM Hockey, the former Adidas hockey brand and equipment company.

Charlie McAvoy, left in the back, visited Smart Light Sports to provide nine special needs children with free CCM Hockey equipment. CCM Hockey

"Everyone should be able to experience this game," McAvoy said. "I mean, it's given me so much, so to come back here and hang around with these kids a little bit and drop off some great CCM gear and just spend some time, I mean, it's special."

The donated gear is set to be used at Smart Light Sports for hockey practices over the course of the year.