The Bruins have officially announced their signing of Ohio State forward Georgii Merkulov to an Entry Level Contract worth $925,000.
#NHLBruins Sign Georgii Merkulov To Three-Year Entry-Level Contract: https://t.co/P2eiHgLjd7— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) April 9, 2022
The B’s were rumored to be linked to Merkulov earlier this week, but the ink it appears has been applied to paper.
Merkulov has taken a deeply unusual path to where he is now; having been in the Kapitan Stupino system for his youth hockey, and then transitioning hard in 2019 towards North American development; playing for the Youngstown Phantoms (Don’s favorite USHL team), and then committing to Ohio State in 2021. Merkulov’s 34 points in 36 games as a freshman and newbie to a harsh conference (including the dual death star programs in Michigan and Minnesota) is impressive, and Ohio State will miss him sorely:
Wrote about the possibility of Merkulov signing after his stellar freshman season on Hockey Sense. He was first-team All-Big Ten, had 20 goals in 32 games and 40 points the season before in the USHL. Bruins beat the market on a guy that has trended up rapidly. Tough loss for OSU. https://t.co/QEsc7qQikQ— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) April 9, 2022
Of course, I think the real way to consider a talent is to ask his teammates what they think of him, and as it turns out, Mason Lohrei happens to be a teammate of his. What do you think about Georgii, Mason?
This guy scores goals https://t.co/aaRb380J7g— Mason Lohrei (@Mason_lohrei20) April 9, 2022
20 goals in 32 games is pretty goalscore-y. You have my attention.
For right now anyway, Merkulov will probably report to Providence, where he can get ready for more playoff hockey as the P-B’s prepare to face their final games in the AHL before heading to the Calder Cup playoffs.
So Добро пожаловать to Georgii! Welcome to the Black and Gold!