The Boston Bruins continue to plumb the depths of the college hockey ranks for talent and have signed Ohio State forward Georgii Merkulov to a three-year entry level contract that begins next season for the Black and Gold.
The 21-year-old Merkulov posted 20 goals and 34 points for the Buckeyes in 2021-22 and prior to that had 20 goals and 74 points in 74 games over two seasons for the USHL’s Youngstown Phantoms. Certainly Boston Bruins talent evaluators have had plenty of good looks at him over the last couple of years with him playing with B’s draft pick Riley Duran in Youngstown last season and with top D-man prospect Mason Lohrei this year with the Buckeyes. Clearly, Lohrei approved of the signing.
This guy scores goals https://t.co/aaRb380J7g
— Mason Lohrei (@Mason_lohrei20) April 9, 2022
‘The Ryazan, Russia native will finish out the current Providence Bruins season on an amateur tryout before his contract kicks in for next season.
The left-shot forward has been on an upward trajectory in each of the past three seasons while in North America and was the first 20-goal freshman in the Big-10 since Kyle Connor. Here are some quick thoughts on the 5-foot-11, 181-pound Merkulov from New England Hockey Journal prospect guru Kirk Luedeke, who thinks he was potential top-6 upside going into the Boston Bruins organization.
Some thoughts on Georgi Merkulov, linked to Bruins as an undrafted free agent: Carried the offense last year on a last-place USHL team. Instant impact freshman- superb hands, offensive instincts. Patient, can paint the corners. Shoot first mentality.
— Kirk Luedeke (@kluedeke29) April 8, 2022
The Boston Bruins have already enjoyed a considerable impact from this spring’s crop of college hockey talent with newly signed Boston College captain Marc McLaughlin scoring his first NHL goal in his first game with the Black and Gold. The Boston Bruins also inked West Michigan University goaltender Brandon Bussi to an entry level contract and dealt a draft pick to the Arizona Coyotes for the rights to Providence College defenseman Mike Callahan. Callahan has gone scoreless in seven games for the Providence Bruins, and the 6-foot-5 Bussi has yet to appear in a game for the P-Bruins.
There’s also speculation that Michigan center and former B’s first round pick Johnny Beecher will be leaving school and signing with the Boston Bruins after the Wolverines lost in the Frozen Four at TD Garden earlier this week.