After signing Trevor Kuntar to his entry-level contract earlier this week, the Bruins have added another recent draft pick into the fold: defenseman Mason Lohrei has signed an amateur tryout agreement (ATO) with the Providence Bruins.
Lohrei, 22, just finished his sophomore season at Ohio State, recording 4 goals and 28 assists in 40 games.
Rumors were circulating that Lohrei may be headed this way after Ohio State’s season ended in the NCAA quarterfinals, as Lohrei made pretty big strides in his two seasons with the Buckeyes, particularly this past season.
Providence is playing tonight in Hartford and tomorrow at home against Bridgeport. Both of those might be tight turnarounds for a kid who hasn’t even had a skate with his new teammates.
After this weekend, Providence plays next on Wednesday, a home game against Hershey.
Why isn’t Lohrei joining the Bruins?
Many were clamoring for Lohrei to be given a look with the big club, especially considering that the Bruins have nothing left to play for.
However, adding Lohrei to the NHL roster would have required him to sign his entry-level contract - and he would have burned a year off of it by seasons’s end, regardless of how many games he played.
The “slide” contract rule wouldn’t apply to Lohrei due to his age; entry-level contracts only “slide” when the ten-game minimum isn’t met if the player is 18 or 19 when he signs that deal.
Because Lohrei is 22, his two-year entry-level contract would have turned into a one-year contract after the season ended, not something you really want to do with one of your top prospects.
Instead, Lohrei will get valuable professional experience on a “tryout” basis. He’ll likely sign his ELC this summer, then see what happens in training camp.