Noel Acciari and Jon Gillies celebrate a Providence College goal. (Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)
The Boston Bruins have signed Noel Acciari to an entry-level deal. Acciari was the co-captain of the NCAA champion Providence College Friars and Hockey East defensive player of the year in 2014-15. He also set career bests last season with 15 goals and 32 points while playing on the power play and penalty kill.
He might not be Patrice Bergeron quite yet, but the Boston Bruins announced Monday they have signed the NCAA’s Hockey East defensive forward of the year Noel Acciari to an entry-level deal.
Acciari will battle for a spot on the Bruins roster this coming season, but it’s likely the 23-year-old center will spend at least one season with the Providence Bruins. Not to worry, however, because Acciari will be right at home in Providence, as he’s coming off of a three-year stint with the NCAA’s Providence College Friars and is heading to the professional ranks less than one year after helping the Friars to the national championship.
"Growing up in Rhode Island it was a dream of mine to become a Friar," Acciari said in a press release. "With the support of my friends and family I was able to accomplish that dream. My success at Providence was due to my amazing teammates and coaches. My teammates have been the greatest group of brothers I could have asked for and together, along with the coaches and staff, we accomplished something truly unimaginable, a national championship."
On his way to being named the Hockey East defensive player of the year, Acciari managed to score 15 goals and 32 points in 41 games with Providence last season, both totals career highs for the Rhode Island native.
"We are very excited and happy for Noel to have earned this opportunity," said Friars coach Nate Leaman. "He's had a tremendous career at Providence, he's been a great player and a great leader and he was an important part of building our culture. Noel will always be a Friar."
Acciari, the Friars’ co-captain, went undrafted for the past few seasons, so he signs with the Bruins as a free agent. This past season was his breakout year and it could turn into a nice steal for Boston should he continue his current trajectory.
On top of his offensive totals this past season, Acciari was a menace in the faceoff circle, winning 56 percent of his draws, and was crucial to the team’s defense. He led the Friars in blocked shots with 38, registered a shorthanded tally and added four power play goals.
In the Frozen Four, Acciari scored a goal against Omaha in the semifinal and registered an assist against Boston University in the final.