By Kirk Luedeke
The Boston Bruins continued their work on adding organizational depth, reportedly agreeing to terms with Michigan State University standout offensive defenseman Torey Krug.
The junior from Livonia, Michigan is a Hobey Baker finalist and scored 12 goals, 34 points in 38 games with the Spartans this season.
Krug, 20, is an explosive skater who is both fast and agile. Although undersized at a listed 5-foot-9, 175 pounds, he is extremely smart with excellent on-ice vision and offensive instincts. He moves well laterally on the point and has the skill to score with a big shot or effectively distribute the puck in space.
The former USHL star with the Indiana Ice is expected to join the Providence Bruins where he will finish the 2011-12 season before his three-year entry-level contract kicks in for 2012-13.
Krug will join a pair of Michiganders who have already made a sizeable impact on Boston's AHL farm club in Justin Florek (Marquette, Mich.) and Zach Trotman (Novi, Mich.), both of whom tallied their first goals in their AHL debuts this weekend. Florek tallied two goals and four points on Friday versus Manchester, while Trotman fired home a power play strike against Connecticut, both wins.
The newest Bruin comes to the team having played 38 games in each of his three NCAA seasons. He scored 26 goals and 83 points in 114 collegiate games with the Spartans, whose season ended Friday against Union College in the 2012 NCAA tournament.
The Boston Bruins confirmed Krug's deal Sunday, revealing that the rookie defender will meet the team in Boston Monday and begin practicing with the club on Tuesday, when the B's return from their West Coast swing.
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli revealed that to get Krug signed the club had to burn the first year of Krug's three-year ELC.
"As part of the negotiation we broke the year," Chiarelli said in a team statement. "In a typical, three-year entry-level contract, which Torey received, this will be the first year. So, it’s basically what was required to get him to sign."
The GM praised Krug's leadership and character in his three seasons in East Lansing, saying:
"He’s a two-time captain of Michigan State, was a lone captain as a sophomore. The kid’s got tremendous character. He’s not a big player, but he’s got a lot of heart."
Chiarelli also said that Krug was nearly a Bruin a year ago.
"We actually almost drafted him last year," he said. "We met him last year, we talked to him last year, and we kept in touch with him during the year."
With the team at 49 contracts out of a maximum of 50, the Bruins
have some slight wiggle room to add one more prior to the playoffs,
but not much. All NHL contracts run through June 30.