(Photo Credit: Luke Durda / OHL Images)

By: James Swindells | Follow me on Twitter @jimswindells68

Providence Bruins General Manager Evan Gold announced this morning that Matthew Poitras has signed an Amateur Tryout (ATO) contract with the Boston Bruins’ top AHL affiliate. Poitras was the Boston Bruins’ second-round selection (54th overall) in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.

The 19-year-old native of Brooklin, Ontario, has spent the last two seasons with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League, and in his time with Guelph, the 5′ 11″ 170-pound Poitras compiled 145 points in 131 games, including the 2022-23 campaign, where he amassed 95 points (16G, 79A) in 63 games.

Poitras has brought a level of excitement and expectation to his selection by Don Sweeney as he nearly doubled his offensive output for Guelph in their 2022-’23 campaign. His ability to make plays took a massive step forward as his assists total of 29 from the 2021-’22 season mushroomed to 79 assists this season.

While under his ATO agreement with the Providence Bruins, Poitras will retain his eligibility to return to play for Guelph in the OHL’s 2023-’24 season. Upon his arrival with the Providence Bruins, Poitras will join defenceman Frederic Brunet (fifth round, 132nd overall), who is a fellow 2022 draft selection of Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney. Brunet signed his own ATO with the AHL Bruins back on April 10th.

Providence is entering the final weekend of its AHL’s 2022-’23 schedule and concludes its season with a 3-in-3 weekend. The P-Bruins head out to western Massachusetts to play the Springfield Thunderbirds on Friday evening and return to Rhode Island’s capital city for a meeting on Saturday night with the Bridgeport Islanders and a rematch with the Springfield Thunderbirds in a Sunday afternoon matchup at the Amica Mutual Pavilion. It is unclear whether Poitras will be made available for the final three games of Providence’s season.

Also, on Friday morning, Providence Bruins’ General Manager Evan Gold announced that forward Joey Abate has signed a two-year contract extension with Providence. Abate previously signed a one-year AHL contract with the P-Bruins on April 1, 2022.

The 24-year-old native of Bloomington, IL, had previously spent time with the University of Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. In his three seasons with the Mavericks, Abate totaled 32 points (12G, 20A, 153 PIM) in 85 games.

In his first full AHL season with Providence, Abate played in 32 games and tallied five points (3G, 2A, 62 PIM). Abate’s season was shortened by injury on February 14th when he suffered a nicked artery and cut a tendon on his left wrist. The cut from a skate forced Abate into surgery, and he has yet to return to game action for the P-Bruins.

Abate brings grit and fire to the Providence lineup, making things miserable for opposing teams as he possesses a non-stop motor. With further development and seasoning at the AHL level, Abate projects as a fourth liner and, previous to his February injury, had seen sustained success paired with the likes of John Beecher and Samuel Asselin.

As the NCAA and CHL seasons are winding down, Evan Gold and Don Sweeney continue to mine these leagues looking for raw, unearthed gems. The hope is to find quality, talented players that have slipped through the cracks due to the late blooming development of their individual games. With the proper growth and seasoning inside the Boston Bruins organization, it is hoped that these players will become valuable assets for years to come.