Tuesday: The Bruins have officially announced the contract.
Monday: From seventh-round flier to an NHL contract sooner than anyone might have expected, CapFriendly reports that the Boston Bruins have signed forward prospect Pavel Shen to a three-year entry-level contract. The deal will carry the maximum $925K AAV, $809K of which is salary and the remainder in bonuses. Shen will join the Bruins immediately for the 2019-20 season.
It was evident early on that the Bruins had found a diamond in the rough in 2018 with Shen, the 212th overall pick. The Russian center fell into the seventh round even after playing 29 games in the KHL as a 17-year-old in his draft year and the Bruins jumped at the opportunity to snag him late, despite limited production at the top level. He immediately showed that there was more to his game with a standout World Junior Championship performance. Shen recorded four points in seven games and was easily Russia’s most effective defensive forward. His regular season was less eventful, as he bounced back and forth between the KHL’s Salavat Yulaev Ufa and the MHL’s Tolpar Ufa and failed to produce on the score sheet.
However, the Bruins and others had already seen enough to identify what Shen might bring to the table down the road with his two-way intelligence and raw skill. He entered the team’s recent development camp with high expectations and performed up to par. It was no surprise that he then returned to Russia and negotiated a termination of his contract, allowing him to begin his Bruins career right away. Shen is likely still years away from pushing for any action in Boston, but the AHL’s Providence Bruins look to be a Calder Cup contender this year and Shen should have both the talent and veteran guidance around him to learn the North American game quickly and begin to make an impact. The likeness is not fair just yet, but Bruins fans will hope to soon compare Shen to another well-known late-round Pavel out of Russia.