Bruins sign Jaxon Nelson to one-year, entry level contract

On Tuesday, Boston signed the graduate student out of the University of Minnesota to a one-year, entry level contract
2022 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship
2022 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

On Tuesday afternoon, the Boston Bruins announced the signing of forward Jaxon Nelson to a one-year, entry level contract out of the University of Minnesota. He will report to AHL Providence for the remainder of the 2023-24 season on an amateur tryout contract.

Nelson, a graduate student for the Golden Gophers, played all five years in the Twin Cities. He is a native of Magnolia, Minnesota.

In 169 games with Minnesota, Nelson racked up 42 goals and 47 assists (89 points) all while taking 377 shots on goal. Nelson's best season was this past where he scored 19 goals with 12 assists (31 pts).

What does he bring to the team?

Nelson brings a rocket of a shot to the Bruins, and he also brings size to his game, something Boston can't say about every forward on their roster.

At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, don't be alarmed if you see Nelson using his body to his advantage when playing the puck in the corner, especially on power play opportunities - a situation where he scored 13 times in his NCAA career.

The trick with Nelson when it comes to his physicality is staying disciplined and not taking the bad penalties. In his second season with the Gophers, he took 34 penalty minutes in just 31 games, giving him an average of around 1.1 penalty minutes per game.

When should we expect to see him in the NHL?

Conceivably, Nelson should be in the NHL by the 2024-25 season given the nature of his contract. Whether he stays following any potential call-ups is another story.

However, the way his contract is structured at just one year, and a cap hit of $870,000, the Bruins should be able to get a good look at him and be able to call him up a few times throughout the season whether it for depth, or for actual playing time.

With the absence of Milan Lucic, and the inconsistencies of Patrick Maroon, maybe Nelson will help fill both of their voids.