(Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara)

By: Andrew Taverna | Follow me on Twitter @andrewtaverna

Boston Bruins RFA Matt Grzelcyk has signed a four-year extension with the Boston Bruins worth an estimated $14.75 million. The 174 pound, 5’9″, 26-year-old defensemen who was drafted 85th overall by the Bruins in 2012 has had some early success. This extension marks an important signing for the Bruins as they can now avoid arbitration, which was scheduled for October 20th.

The Charlestown, MA native has appeared in 197 career NHL games with the Boston Bruins and has played three full seasons in Boston. With a plus-45 rating and a career 54 points in the regular season, Grzelck should add a much-needed dynamic to a Boston Bruins defensive core currently going through what appears to be a major transition. In addition to his regular-season performance, Grzelyck has played in 43 post-season games with 10 total points.

Last season, Grzelcyk played a total of 68 regular-season games for the Boston Bruins, finishing with an impressive plus-15 and a total of 21 points. With four goals and 17 assists, he had plenty of offensive upsides while locking down his own zone. Not only did he have another impressive season, one of the most important aspects of his game is his growth. Looking at the last two seasons, you can see the natural growth trends of a player who is on the rise.

Grzelyck seems to be in a prime position to see more ice time in the upcoming season. He can replace the important minutes that used to be filled by Torey Krug’s spot on the top power-play unit. Krug, who left in free agency this offseason, left a significant whole on that top unit that Gryzelyck, who is similar in size, should help fill.

In addition to the important power-play time, I’d anticipate Grzelyck could see a significant increase in ice time as he will likely play in a higher pairing than previously in his career. With the Bruins having a lot of questions remaining around their defensive core, the Grzelyck signing puts a bow on one of the biggest offseason question marks.