An NHL source has confirmed a report Thursday night by Sportsnet NHL Analyst Elliotte Friedman that the Boston Bruins have signed St. Cloud State defenseman Jack Ahcan. This is the second NCAA free agent that the Bruins have signed in the last week after signing 6-foot-4, 217-pound defenseman Nick Wolff out of Minnesota-Duluth March 19.
Ahcan captained the Huskies in 2019-20, his senior and final season at St. Cloud. He finished the season with seven goals and 18 assists in 33 games.
“He’s one of those naturally gifted puck-movers,” a longtime NHL scout focused on NCAA hockey told Boston Hockey Now Wednesday evening. “He’s definitely got Torey Krug like qualities and obviously they might need more of that soon.”
Of course, the scout is referring to the fact that the Bruins leader in points from the blue line since 2013 is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Obviously with the NHL season on pause and talks that if the league were to come back this season, they’d play into August, that July 1 date and free agency is up in the air. Still though, with the potential that Krug does leave via free agency at some point, the team is trying to compensate for the amount of offense from the blue line that they will be losing even with the emergence of Matt Grzelcyk.
Ahcan is now the seventh NCAA Free Agent to sign since the season paused March 12, joining Wolff, Mitchell Chafee (UMass-Amherst, Minnesota Wild), Patrick Khodorenko (Michigan State, New York Rangers), Connor Mackey (Minnesota State, Calgary Flames), Mark Michaelis (Minnesota State, Vancouver Canucks) and Drew O’Connor (Dartmouth, Pittsburgh Penguins). Due to the uncertainty of the Coronavirus and if and when the season may start again, all of these free agents had to sign contracts starting with the 2020-21 season. The NHL hasn’t given any firm timeline on when they will make that tough call to play or not to play but they did postpone the NHL Draft Combine, Awards Show, and the Entry Draft on Wednesday.
In 144 games for the Huskies, Ahcan, 22, scored 21 goals and had 82 assists. He also won gold with Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy for USA Hockey at the 2017 U20 World Junior Championships. The 5’8, 185-pound rearguard hails from Savage, Minnesota where he starred Burnsville High School. After high school, he played the 2015-16 season at Cedar Rapids in the USHL and had a monster season with 30 helpers and 44 points in 56 games.