The Boston Bruins had several restricted free agents they hit with qualifying offers to retain their services last week, and they signed one of them this weekend.
The Bruins signed 25-year-old defenseman Jack Ahcan to a one-year deal for $750,000 for the upcoming season, per our friends at Puckpedia.
The #NHLBruins re-signed 25 y/o RFA LD Jack Ahcan to 1 year Deal
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) July 17, 2022
The 5-foot-9, 180-pound Ahcan had a goal and a minus-3 rating in six NHL games for the Boston Bruins last season to go along with six goals and 23 points in 45 games in his second AHL season with the Providence Bruins.
While Ahcan has graduated from the development camp stage of his pro hockey career at this point after a couple pro seasons, he’s still one of those players that hasn’t knocked down the door to the NHL as of yet. The puck-moving defenseman was initially signed as an undrafted free agent out of St. Cloud State as a possible long-term replacement for the similarly skilled Torey Krug, but Ahcan has not yet shown that kind of explosive offensive ability at the NHL level.
This could be a key season for him, however, with D-men Mike Reilly, Matt Grzelcyk and Charlie McAvoy all coming back from offseason surgeries, and some clear opportunities to establish himself at the NHL in the first few months of the season with a strong training camp performance.
The Ahcan signing leaves the Bruins with Jack Studnicka, Matt Filipe and Pavel Zacha as unsigned restricted free agents with Zacha having until 5 pm this afternoon to file for salary arbitration with the Boston Bruins. The RFA situation certainly is going to call for some managing from Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney with work still to be done following Monday’s open to NHL free agency, but the biggest challenge facing Sweeney and the B’s this summer will be hammering out a long-term contract extension for David Pastrnak.