The Boston Bruins have made only a minor impact on the free agent market thus far, but the AHL’s Providence Bruins have gained plenty. Since May, Boston has re-signed AHL leaders Paul Carey, Anton Blidh, and Ryan Fitzgerald, signed promising prospect Oskar Steen, signed goaltender Maxime Lagace and forward Brendan Gaunce with earmarks for the minors, and signed or extended Brett Ritchie, Par Lindholm, and Peter Cehlarik, all of whom could be candidates to spend time in Providence. Meanwhile, the P-Bruins also added valued stay-at-home defender Josiah Didier on an AHL contract on June 1st. The pipeline continues to pile up, as today the Bruins announced six more AHL signings.
Joining Asselin on a two-year AHL deal is former Carolina Hurricanes prospect Brendan Woods. Woods was a fifth-round pick in 2012 and looked to have the size and scoring ability to make it big, but it hasn’t panned out that way. The big winger has seven NHL games to his credit but has almost exclusively played in the AHL in his six-year pro career. Woods brings some physicality and experience as well as some modest production to Providence, but at 27 he’s no longer the top prospect he used to be.
The team is bringing back defenseman Joel Messner on a one-way deal. Messner split last season between Providence and the ECHL’s Atlanta Gladiators, but did manage to contribute seven points in 32 AHL games. The University of Nebraska-Omaha product is a work in progress even at 25, but clearly did enough last season to prove to the Bruins’ brass that he was worth bringing back.
The other two one-year signings belong to defenseman Alexey Solovyev and winger Robert Lantosi. Solovyev, 24, hails from Russia but spent the past four years at nearby Bentley University. With good size and mobility, Solovyev flew under the radar at a small program but could be a surprise at the pro level. Lantosi, 23, is an import from Slovakia making his North American debut. A product of the Swedish junior ranks, Lantosi has been playing professionally in Slovakia the past two years and dominated in 2018-19 with 58 points in 56 games to finish in the top five of the league. He too has more upside than it may seem on a minor league contract.