( Photo Credit: NHL.com )

By: Mark Allred | Follow me on Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The National Hockey League Boston Bruins announced today that the team had signed 25-year-old defenseman Jack Ahcan. The 5′-9″ 181-pound blueliner has primarily been with Boston’s top minor-pro affiliate, the Providence Bruins. After a successful four-year NCAA career with St. Cloud State, where he posted 21-82-103 numbers, Ahcan turned pro in late March of 2020, signing a two-year entry-level deal. With the American Hockey League Providence Bruins, the Minnesota native has appeared in 65 games and contributed 7-26-33 totals. The contract that was made official this afternoon is a one-year, two-way deal worth $750K at the NHL level.

This is a huge add for the Boston Bruins organization for depth purposes but also to keep Jack around for further looks. He’ll be ready if called upon to start the 2022-23 regular season as fellow defensive players Charlie McAvoy and Mike Reilly recover from injuries. Or he’ll be a good soldier like he has from day one and reports to Providence to help the top minor-pro affiliate and their mission to bolster Head Coach Ryan Mougenel’s backend for the upcoming season. The Providence defense struggled last season heavily due to injuries, but some changes have been made this offseason to help in that department.

While we’re still early in the NHL free agency and who’s uncertain of reporting to the ECHL Maine Mariners, the Providence club could see a defensive lineup of Ahcan, Captain Josiah Didier, Victor Berglund, Mike Callahan, Nick Wolff, and recent veteran signings of Connor Carrick, and Dan Renouf. If J.D. Greenway stays a defenseman and Grant Gabrielle takes a bigger step this upcoming season, the Bruins AHL farm defensive depth looks impressive on paper. Now let us see if everyone on the backend can stay healthy. A big reason why the Providence Bruins were swept in the 2022 Calder Cup Playoffs round one was due to injuries and players leaving to report as black aces to the higher parent NHL team.

Ahcan has appeared in nine NHL games, and the above YouTube video is his first career goal. Jack is an absolute bulldog on the ice for a smaller player and provides a tremendous element of offensive capabilities to either level of the Boston Bruins organization. Regardless of your opinions and small-statured narratives, the minor-pro levels need sustainability as well, so players like Ahcan provide a valuable service to NHL organizations either on a full-time or part-time basis. Every NHL system operates differently, so if Jack can’t crack the Bruins NHL roster, he could find a better path to consecutive games with another organization. Regardless you have to credit these players for grinding it out and keeping the dream alive.