The Boston Bruins have signed defenseman Nick Boynton to a one-year contract, it was announced today by Bruins General Manager Mike O'Connell. Boynton was the team’s final unsigned Group II (restricted) free agent and, in keeping with club policy, terms of the contract were not released.
"We are very pleased to have Nick signed," said O'Connell. "He is one of the best young defensemen in the game, is a leader in our dressing room and we expect that he will play a big part in our team’s success this season.”
Boynton, 26, was originally drafted by Washington as their first pick, ninth overall, in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He re-entered the draft in 1999 and Boston made him their first pick, 21st overall, in that draft. He played four seasons of junior hockey with Ottawa of the Ontario Hockey League with 41-144=185 totals and 410 penalty minutes in 218 career games with the 67s, earning OHL All-Rookie Team honors in 1995-96 and Third Team OHL All-Star honors in 1996-97. He captained the 67s to the Memorial Cup championship in 1998-99 and was named Most Valuable Player of that tournament.
The 6'2", 211 lb. native of Nobleton, Ontario spent most of his first two pro seasons with Boston’s American Hockey League affiliate in Providence, earning a full-time place on the Boston roster in 2001-02 when he was named to the NHL’s All-Rookie Team. He has played three full seasons with the Bruins and has increased his offensive production in each season, including his best season to date in 2003-04 when he had 6-24=30 totals in 81 games. He has career totals of 17 goals and 55 assists for 72 points and 306 penalty minutes in 245 NHL/Bruins games and played in the NHL All-Star Game in 2004.
Boynton played nine games in the 2004-05 season with Nottingham in England with 1-3=4 totals and four PIM in those contests.