By: Mark Allred | Follow me on Twitter @BlackAndGold277
In a series of depth signings today, the Boston Bruins announced the team had come to terms with restricted free agent forward Matt Filipe on a one-year, two-way contract. The Carolina Hurricanes originally drafted the 24-year-old Massachusetts native in the third round of the 2016 National Hockey League entry draft.
After four seasons of NCAA hockey nearby at Northeastern University, the 6′-2″ 198-pound versatile forward chose not to sign with the Hurricanes and, on August 17th, 2020, became a free agent. After a four-year career at Northeastern, which saw him post 31-44-75 numbers in 136 games, Filipe has moved to the AHL level with the NHL Bruins top minor-pro affiliate, the Providence Bruins, to produce 9-13-22 totals in 76 career AHL games.
Matt has some decent offensive skills but also brings an aggressive style to his game and is hard to play against. Filipe is a physical power forward with good edges and agility for those who aren’t privy to the Bruins prodigy. His speed and aggressiveness often get him in trouble with penalty calls, but that’s something Providence head coach Ryan Mougenel and staff can work out of his game during the upcoming year under contract. If the Bruins choose to keep Matt in the pipeline, he has the potential to be a decent fourth-line grinder or even graduate to a third-line role with better puck awareness on and off his stick.
To me, Filipe is a bigger forward like Joona Koppanen that the Bruins see something they like when it comes to those prototypical fourth-line grinders that finish their checks and, even though not known for fighting, will drop the gloves for a fallen comrade. I’d like to see Filipe take a more significant step offensively to round out his game with an already big frame as he continues to develop as a player in his mid-20s. I’m sure Providence Bruins Head Coach Ryan Mougenel went to bat for a Filipe return to the Boston organization for more evaluations. During Mougenel’s tenure with the Bruins organization, he has an uncanny ability to communicate and get the best out of his players.
Last season Filipe had his best pro season since joining the NHL Bruins organization. In 59 games during the 2021-22 campaign, had 7-10-17 with 52 penalties and had a +/- of +2. Matt has the offensive ability to be a 20-goal AHL goal scorer with more trust and minutes earned. He’s also a decent penalty killer with his speed, size, and ability to get sticks in the lane for a quick or easy transition out of the zone after creating an opponent turnover.