The Bruins remain closed for business at this hour, but they continued to plan for their future Wednesday, adding 6-foot-5-inch Minnesota-Duluth free agent defenseman Nick Wolff to their pool of back-line prospects.
The signing was announced mid-day in a press release by Veritas Hockey, the St. Paul-based player agency that represents Wolff, followed by a Bruins press release around 7 p.m. in which the club also confirmed the signing of University of Maine goalie Jeremy Swayman.
The Globe reported on Tuesday that Swayman, chosen 111th in the 2017 draft, decided to turn pro with the Black and Gold and not return to Maine for his junior season.
Swayman signed a three-year entry-level contract, while Wolff signed for only the 2020-21 season.
Wolff, former Bulldog teammate of Bruins winger Karson Kuhlman, was first spotted by the Bruins a couple of years ago, leading to his invitation to the club’s summer development camps in 2018 and ’19. A Minnesota homeboy, he helped UM-D win two Frozen Four titles in his four years on the club’s back line.
Wolff grew up in Eagan, Minn., just southeast of Bloomington, and went undrafted in his senior year of high school. He is a big (6-5/229), rangy, left shot defenseman with some valued snarl. ,
“Genuinely aggressive,” said Kirk Luedeke, assistant GM of the USHL’s Omaha Lancers. "If you’re a Bruins fan who likes toughness, this is like hitting the lottery. Probably a year or two away from being in the NHL, but think of him as an Adam McQuaid type with a little more range to his game.”
Wolff was a Bulldog cocaptain this season and had a shot at appearing in his fourth consecutive NCAA title game, until the coronavirus epidemic wiped out what remained of college hockey in 2019-20.
UM-D, with Wolff on its back line, trimmed UMass, 3-0, in last spring’s Frozen Four title game in Buffalo.
Wolff this season played in 33 games with Duluth and had a line of 0-10—10 with 42 penalty minutes. Across his four years, he played in 156 games with 14-39—53 and a 233 career PIMs.
Per puckpedia.com, Wolff’s one-year deal carries a total value of $792,500, but only $162,500 guaranteed. If he plays for the varsity, he will earn $700,000. Otherwise, he is guaranteed his $92,500 signing bonus and a minor league salary of $70,000.
Bruins winger David Pastrnak, NHL leading scorer and Dunkins pitchman extraordinaire, earlier this week began booking invitations to play Fortnite, the highly popular video game.
The only qualifier: opponent must be “a good player."
Pastrnak, 23, was tied for the league lead in goals (48) with superstar Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin when the NHL suspended its season last Thursday. Toronto’s Auston Matthews ranked No. 3 with 47.
Pastrnak issued his Fortnite invitation via Instagram. No mention of the results on Pasta’s Twitter account @pastrnak96.
Swayman a finalist
Jeremy Swayman, the Maine goaltender who notified the Black Bears earlier in the week that he intends to turn pro with the Bruins, was one of four Hockey East players named Wednesday among the 10 Hobey Baker finalists.
The others were Jack Dugan of Providence (LW, sophomore), John Leonard (C, junior) of UMass, and David Farrance (D, junior) of Boston University.
Swayman, chosen by the Bruins with the 111th pick in the 2017 draft, went 18-11-5 with Maine this season and finished his NCAA career with a 47-40-12 mark.
USHL is done
The USHL, the development league where Wolff played for two seasons prior to joining Minnesota-Duluth, decided Wednesday to shut down for the season, yet another league to call it quits amid the ongoing coronavirus epidemic.
The USHL suspended play last week, with approximately a month’s worth of regular-season games remaining. The move means the league will not crown a playoff champion.