According to a report in the Boston Globe, Blake Wheeler will sign with the Bruins July 1.
“More than 20 NHL teams were interested in Blake, and this was a very tough decision,” Wellesley-based agent Matt Keator told the Globe. “And ultimately it came down to a few things for Blake, but mostly that he was comfortable with where the Bruins were headed as an organization – how this year they brought along kids like David Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Mark Stuart.”
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound winger was selected fifth overall by the Phoenix Coyotes in 2004, but at the end of his season at the University of Minnesota, Wheeler announced his intention to turn pro and exercise his right to become a free agent if he could not come to terms with the Coyotes.
“This is a great opportunity,” said Keator. “But everyone, including Blake, has to keep in mind that this will take some time – he’ll have a lot of work to do to be able to play the man’s game.”
NHL rules state Wheeler must sign a two-year deal worth no more than $850,000 per season, though bonuses could bring him to $2 million.
Wheeler will not be available to comment until July 1.