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Bruins make another free-agent addition

April 2, 2024, 4:34 PM ET [4 Comments]
Ty Anderson
Boston Bruins Blogger •Bruins Feature Columnist • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Bruins continued their flurry of movement within the college free agent world Tuesday, with University of Minnesota center Jaxon Nelson officially signed to a one-year, entry-level contract.

The deal, which has been confirmed by Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, will come with an $870,000 cap hit at the NHL level, and go into effect beginning next season. In the meantime, Nelson will join AHL Providence on an amateur tryout agreement for the remainder of the 2023-24 season.

“Jaxon is a big, right shot, two-way center with leadership qualities as captain of a very successful collegiate program,” Sweeney said in a statement confirming the transaction. “He has shown consistent growth throughout his time at the University of Minnesota and the Bruins are excited to have Jaxon join our organization.”

A five-year talent at Minnesota, the 24-year-old Nelson is coming off a campaign that included college career-highs in both goals (19) and points (31), and had a strong push during Minnesota’s NCAA tournament run.

Nelson, who attended development camp with the Capitals in 2022, put together a collegiate career that featured 42 goals and 89 points in 169 total games for the Golden Gophers.

Standing at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds Nelson’s size immediately pops off the page. Whether or not that size can translate to pro-level speed from a skating and production standpoint will be the big test for Nelson upon his jump to the pro game. And while every prospect is different, the Bruins’ recent success with Justin Brazeau should inspire some hope when it comes to the B’s figuring out the perfect plan to maximize Nelson’s skillset for a bigger-bodied forward looking to grow in the pro game.

Nelson is the third college free agent signed by the B’s this year, joining a group featuring Notre Dame defenseman Drew Bavaro and goaltender Ryan Bischel. The Bruins were also interested in Quinnipiac’s Jacob Quillan prior to his signing with the Maple Leafs, and there’s been talk of the Bruins being interested in QU’s Collin Graf.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has been covering the Bruins since 2010, and has been a member of the Boston chapter of the PHWA since 2013. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, HockeyBuzz.com or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter/X: @_TyAnderson.
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