The Boston Bruins announced today that the team has signed Jake DeBrusk, Jeremy Lauzon and Zach Senyshyn to three-year entry-level contracts.
When you factor in the already signed Jakub Zboril and Brandon Carlo, that means five of Boston’s picks in the opening two rounds of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft are now under contract.
What this means: Not a whole lot, other than the fact that the B’s don’t have a thing to worry about in terms of losing any of these players to re-entering the draft if they weren’t to agree to deals by June 1, 2017. All five players are back with their junior clubs, which means the Bruins can’t summon them for any kind of action until their amateur seasons are over. Once they finish their major junior play, Boston can move them to Providence on ATOs to finish out the season- there are usually a handful of games left in the AHL regular schedule if a CHL team is eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, a few more than that if the junior team fails to make the postseason.
The new ELCs do not count against Boston’s 50-contract limit while the players are in junior, so by signing at or close to the max, the players get security and so do the B’s in knowing that the kids are in the fold.
This also underscores the early success that these three in particular have had in the new season- all have been productive, and while DeBrusk is currently rehabbing a lower body injury after blocking a Joe Hicketts shot in a game last week, both he and Senyshyn were mentioned as potential candidates to take a run at the 2016 Team Canada World Jr. squad. DeBrusk turned 19 last month, so this is his last shot at playing in the storied tournament. Once he turns 20, he is ineligible.
Senyshyn, who despite his 10 goals with the Soo this season, is still considered a long shot, gets another chance to make the 2017 WJC, and he might just do that with another year under his belt.
Overall, signing these youngsters is a good sign for Boston. The only unsigned player from the six picks in the top-52 is BU Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, but the team won’t sign him anytime soon. To do so would mean he gives up his NCAA eligibility and turns pro, and there is no need to rush the youngster. One player who might be up soon for contract consideration is Prince George forward Jesse Gabrielle, who was drafted by the B’s in the fourth round and was named WHL Player of the Week earlier this season.
Lauzon has cooled off a bit after his blistering offensive start, but he continues to impress as a top two-way defenseman in the Quebec league.