2014 1st Round draft pick (18th overall) Alex Tuch has signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild, the team announced Wednesday.
Tuch has spent the last two seasons playing for the Boston College Eagles, who made a run to the Frozen Four this season. They were eliminated in the semifinal by the No. 1 ranked Quinnipiac Bobcats last Thursday.
Tuch is a power forward with the ability to make a significant impact offensively. He led the Eagles in scoring during his freshman season with 28 points (14-14-28).
This season, he had a role change and started off very slow. It was slow enough that he was left off the 2016 U.S. World Junior Championship roster, after he’d been a pivotal player the prior year on a line with Jack Eichel.
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But in December, Tuch started to turn things around. He scored the overtime winner in the Beanpot Championship and was consistently a contributor for BC when things mattered most. He finished out the season with 18 goals and 34 points in 40 games.
Unfortunately for BC, he’s the fourth player to leave that team in the week since the Frozen Four ended. Among the players exiting the program was 2012 4th round draft pick Adam Gilmour, who is also a Wild draft pick.
I am proud to announce that I have signed my first pro contract with the @mnwild. Thanks to my family and everyone who has supported me.
— Alex Tuch (@alextuch89) April 13, 2016
Tuch’s skill set could fit nicely for the Wild, who need to find some offense on the cheap. While he sometimes looks like he’s taking a shift off, he has the ability, at the levels he’s played at, to turn games. He’s physical, carrying good speed, a nice shot and solid hands.
He should get a legitimate shot at making the Wild roster next season or could find himself a part of an Iowa Wild team that could finally rise above the painful seasons they’ve had since moving to Des Moines from Houston. Iowa is currently on track to finish last in the AHL for the third straight season after losing Wednesday’s game. They have two games remaining in their season.
Tuch may join the “black aces” for practice with the NHL after the Iowa Wild finish their season this weekend, reports Michael Russo, but he’s undecided if he’ll do that because of his class schedule at BC.
His contract will start in the 2016-17 season.
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) April 13, 2016
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.