Boston, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced Tuesday that the club has signed forward Blake Wheeler to an entry-level contract.
Wheeler, a Plymouth, Minnesota native, has spent the last three seasons playing for the University of Minnesota. In his 2007-2008 season, he led the team in scoring with 15-20-35 totals in 44 games, and was named to the third team, All-WCHA. Originally drafted in the first round (5th overall) by the Phoenix Coyotes in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, he will forego his senior season to enter the NHL. He did not sign with the Coyotes and became an unrestricted free agent.
The 6-4, 215 pound 21-year-old leaves the Gophers with career 42-54-96 totals in 127 games. In the 2006-2007 postseason, he earned the Tom Mohr Playoff MVP Award after tallying four goals and one assist. As a freshman, he recorded 9-14-23 totals at Minnesota, skating alongside fellow Bruin Phil Kessel. In 2005-2006 he also skated for the USA in the IIHF World Junior Championships, where he played in all seven games and scored two goals against Finland.
Before attending the University of Minnesota, Wheeler spent one season in the USHL with the Green Bay Gamblers, and led the team in scoring by notching 19 goals and 28 assists in 58 games. .
Wheeler is expected to attend the Bruins Development Camp which will be held July 8 - July 12 at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, MA.