By: Brian Boll – Follow me on Twitter @HockeyOgie
This past March the Boston Bruins signed free-agent college defenseman from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Nick Wolff, to an entry-level contract. The 6”5” 230-pound Eagan, Minnesota native recently had his senior season as captain of the Bulldogs cancelled due to the pandemic. Wolff helped Minnesota-Duluth reach the NCAA Finals in each of his first three seasons, winning the NCAA Championship in the final two appearances.
This past NCAA season was abruptly cancelled due to the pandemic, and with Wolff at a +/- of +18 and contributed 10 assists in 33 games this season. The Bulldogs had hoped to take their second-place status in the NCHC and a top 5 national ranking into yet another run for a National Championship. In a little over four seasons with Minnesota-Duluth, Wolff totaled 14-39-53, and 233 PIM in 156 career NCAA games. Nick was selected as a team captain in each of his final two seasons with the Bulldogs, being an alternate in his junior year and team captain in his senior year.
Prior to playing in the NCAA, Nick played in three seasons with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL and Eagan High School (Minnesota). Wolff competed for Team USA in the 2013-2014 Hlinka Gretzky Cup. While in High School, Nick lettered in hockey four years, three years in football, and one year in golf according to his UMD player profile https://umdbulldogs.com/sports/mens-ice-hockey/roster/nick-wolff/4814 .
Nick Wolff Statshttp://www.hockeydb.com/em/?text_col=%23000000&linktext_col=%230000ee&linktext_hover_col=%23770000&bg_col=%23f0ecdd&border_col=%23000000&title_bg_col=%23d6cda5&row_bg_col=%23ffffff&row_alt_bg_col=%23f5f2e9&header=1&pid=173603
Wolff follows fellow Minnesota native and former UMD Bulldog captain, Karson Kuhlman, as he is expected to make the jump from NCAA hockey to the AHL Providence Bruins in hopes of developing his professional game. He has attended the Bruins Prospect Camp in both 2018 and 2019.
Nick plays a physical, stay-at-home defense type of a style, keeping a high +/-, and plays a very physical game. He needs to continue to work on his skating mechanics to compete at the professional levels, but his size, intensity, and healthy vision of the ice allow him to play strong angles and take away passing lanes. He also is vital in battles and has a big shot from the point and will be challenged to quicken his release at the AHL level. Wolff is challenging to play against and will surely be valuable for Providence to battle their way back once again to the top of the Atlantic Division.
Wolff has been described as “nasty” on the ice, genuinely aggressive, and tough. This type of play could be enjoyable for the Providence fans to watch, but only if he keeps his emotions in check and not taking penalties at inappropriate times. Nick has said to mature significantly while taking on the captain responsibilities at UMD, carrying over many of the leadership and discipline qualities into his on-ice game. We hope to see Wolff earning ice time and growing into his professional game this season in Providence. His large frame, intense play, and experience leading his teams to success will make Wolff an exciting player to keep an eye on this season.