The Bruins announced on Wednesday that they’ve come to a contract agreement with undrafted college free agent, defenseman Nick Wolff from the University of Minnesota – Duluth. Wolff played four full seasons at Duluth, where he was named assistant team captain before his junior season. Wolf was one of two colligate players to make the jump to the pro game for the Bruins this week. The other being University of Maine goaltender Jeremy Swayman.
A potential diamond in the rough
Nick Wolff is the type of player that goes under the radar in today’s NHL. Hence why he managed to go undrafted. Wolff isn’t the kind of defenseman to go out and be in the top ten in the league in scoring. He’s the type of defenseman to – get this- be really good at playing defense. He’s a defensive defenseman. A type of player that is simply being run out of the league by players who score better than they defend. He’s a very physical player. An old time hockey player. A big bodied, rough defenseman. A player who would be coveted by an old time hockey club like the Boston Bruins.
At the peak of Wollf‘s offensive days at Duluth he managed 18 points in 44 games. Those 18 points came from five goals and thirteen assists. Wolff never had a negative plus minus while at Minnesota – Duluth. That goes to reiterate the fact that Wolff really is a shutdown defenseman. If he compares to a current Bruin it is definitely Brandon Carlo. He does offer some offensive help, but if he’s doing his thing on the ice he’s bullying opposing players away from the net and protecting his teams zone.
Wolff is a big left shot defenseman. He’ll be joining a very crowded blue line in the Bruins organization, especially in Providence. Wolff will have to prove his worth come training camp, and likely in Providence next season. The Bruins tend to like big bodied defenseman, so that will favor Wolff. They also tend to like defenseman who can provide offensive numbers as well. That might eventually be an issue for Wolff. There’s no saying that he can’t still make some adjustments and provide more of an impact on the game offensively. He is good at moving the puck, so that might be his loophole to get above the rest of the group. He can move the puck and still make an impact on offense, just not on the stat sheet.
Credit to bostonsportsjournal.com for the featured image