( Photo Credit: Nina Lindberg / Yale Athletics )

By: Mark Allred | Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

Today the Boston Bruins announced that the team has come to a three-year, entry-level contract with forward Curtis Hall. The 20-year-old Ohio native was selected in the fourth round ( 119th Overall) of the 2018 National Hockey League entry draft held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas home of the Dallas Stars.

The 6′-3″ 196-pound right shooting center spent two seasons playing the the United States Hockey League with the Youngstown Phantoms before his draft year appearing in 113 career games posting 20-32-52 numbers. Hall would later follow through with his commitment to play in the NCAA Ivy League with the Yale Bulldogs. In his freshman season (2018-19) he appeared in 25 games getting used to the new level of hockey posting 5-6-11 numbers. His sophomore season he really took a hold of his development and found a comfort level contributing 17-10-27 totals in 28 games before the Covid-19 pandemic pretty much shutdown all sports in the middle of March in 2020.

Hall’s newly signed NHL entry-level deal is for three-years, as mentioned above, but it also comes with a salary-cap hit of $925K. With the start of his contract officially kicking off in the 2021-22 season, this means the former member of the United States developmental program who is currently under a one-year American Hockey League contract won’t burn one of his entry-level years, creating more of an opportunity for the Boston Bruins organization to fine-tune this talented young man’s skills on the way to his dream of reaching the top hockey league in the world.

In an article published by EP Rinkside of eliteprospects.com, Julie Robenhymer who interviewed Curtis during the 2020 World Juniors tournament and had these quotes below. He’s a confident player and has that professional attitude, as I’ve interviewed him a few times at the Boston Bruins development camp held at the Warrior Ice Arena.

“It’s been a slow progression as I’ve grown up and my body has gotten bigger,” said the 6-foot-3, 196-pound centreman. ”With each step I’ve taken, I wouldn’t say my goal scoring has gone down, but other areas of my game have evolved and then the competition has gotten better around me and there are more skilled guys on my team who take on that scoring leader role. I mean, I love scoring goals and know I can still do that, but I also know I can contribute in other ways and whatever my team needs me to do is what I’ll do to help us win.”

“I gained experience playing against some of the best players in the world in my age group and it helped me know what to expect and show me where my game needed to be to play at this level,” the 19-year-old said. “World juniors is such an elite tournament and Team USA is an elite team to be on and if I wanted to earn a spot, I really needed to get better, especially with my speed and my strength.”

“College hockey, in general, is much more defensive than the USHL and especially being in the ECAC, it’s even more so,” Hall said. “It’s a really hard league to play in. It’s much more physical and if you don’t have a good defensive system, you’re not going to be very successful. It’s something we work on in practice every day because it’s just as important to us as offence. If you can’t play well in your own end, I can promise you you’re not going to get much ice time at Yale.

Per EliteProspects.com, Hall’s father, Mike, was a Bowling Green State University Alum who spent his professional career after his time in the NCAA in the minor-pro levels in North America. In Mikes’s ten-year playing career, he made stops in the ECHL, IHL, and the American Hockey League, where Hall Senior played in 18 games for the Providence Bruins, a team his son Curtis is currently with.

Since the NCAA Ivy League of the ECAC opted out of playing in the 2020-21 regular season, Curtis had no other options to get playing time and didn’t want to lose a whole year of development. On January 26th, 2021, the only road to get back to playing at the time was with the Providence Bruins and get in the 2021 AHL shortened 26-game schedule. Curtis played in his first pro game on February 5th, 2021, vs. the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. He lasted just about a period and was seen later at the New England Sports Center in street clothes per Mark Divver who was covering the action from the new home of the top minor-pro affiliate of the Boston Bruins in Marlborough, Massachusetts.

These quotes below are from an article from the official Providence Bruins website that was published on January 26th, 2021, with the announcement of the AHL club signing Hall to a one-year deal. This is just a way of showing how many in the organization are excited to have him involved.

“We are excited to welcome Curtis Hall to Providence,” said Sweeney. “These are unique and challenging times and we feel fortunate to be able to continue to provide this development opportunity for our young players.  Our organization believes Curtis has a bright future with the Bruins and he has our full support as he takes the next steps with his hockey career.”

“Curtis made great strides under the tutelage of Keith Allain at Yale and he will have a great opportunity to continue his growth with our coaching staff in Providence,” said Providence Bruins General Manager John Ferguson.

“Curtis will be a welcomed addition to our group here in Providence,” said Providence Bruins Head Coach Jay Leach. “It has been fun to watch him develop into a premiere power forward in the ECAC and we are looking forward to helping him transition into professional hockey.”