The Boston Bruins have added to their long-term center depth by signing 19-year-old center prospect Brett Harrison to a three-year entry level contract.
The three-year deal amounts to a $859,167 cap hit per season for the former third round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound Harrison skated in 65 OHL games with the Oshawa Generals and finished with 27 goals and 34 assists for 61 points. The London, Ontario native added four goals and three assists for seven points in six OHL playoff games.
Harrison had a pretty decent Boston Bruins development camp last month, but really showed up with his playmaking and skill amidst the scrimmage setting at the end of the week. All that being said, there’s still a lot of development to his game prior to him presumably being a part of Boston’s rookie training camp and Prospect Challenge tourney next month.
A bit of a quiet week for Bruins center prospect Brett Harrison, but his skills are showing at the full ice scrimmage at the end of the week. One of his two goals in the Friday scrimmage on a putback of a Luke Toporowski shot pic.twitter.com/BJ99InVJwW
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) July 15, 2022
There’s absolutely some interesting timing with the Harrison signing given some of the current uncertainty at the center position for the Boston Bruins both in the short term, and absolutely in the long term. Patrice Bergeron is expected to return for at least one more season as the Bruins captain for the 2022-23 NHL season but the 37-year-old hasn’t signed an NHL contract that’s believed to be a one-year, incentive-laden deal when he does sign.
Similarly, David Krejci is also rumored to return to the Boston Bruins for a one-year contract after spending last season playing in the Czech Republic, but he also hasn’t signed a contract to this point. Both centers were among a large Boston Bruins contingent, both past and present, that turned out in Italy last weekend for Tuukka Rask’s excellent European wedding.
Newly acquired center Pavel Zacha is also unsigned to this point after the Bruins traded Erik Haula for him last month, and the 24-year-old pivot is facing an Aug. 11 arbitration date with the B’s if they can’t hammer out a contract beforehand. Don Sweeney has alluded to Zacha, a former top-10 first round pick, factoring into the Boston Bruins long term picture at the center position, but it was based on the two sides coming to the kind of contract agreement that would make all of that feasible.
“I feel there’s growth and potential there moving forward. We hope to be able to find a deal with him being part of the organization now and beyond, that remains to be seen how long that is,” said Don Sweeney of Pavel Zacha, who has actually already been making his home in Boston for the last couple of summers. “Just felt like it was an opportunity for now and potentially moving forward. We identified a player that fit into our organization that we’re excited about.
“He’s more than comfortable playing all three positions and being productive. I think he sees himself as a center and he’s excited to be joining the Boston Bruins. Down the road, he’s definitely a center. I think that helps us if we’re able to find the term and agreement.”