NHL’s Boston Bruins sign Boston College hockey player from Billerca

Derek Sanderson, Mike Millbury, Glen Wesley and now Marc McLaughlin.

The surname on the list belongs to the Billerica native who spent the winter as one of the nation’s top college scorers while representing the United States at the Olympics. And No. 26 – which the top three also sported – belongs to him as well.

McLaughlin signed an entry-level two-year contract on Tuesday to play for his hometown Boston Bruins, three days after he last dressed at Boston College.

“Staying local is definitely a huge plus,” he told Wicked Local in a post-workout phone interview. “I am thrilled to share this experience with everyone at Billerica and with my family. It’s quite breathtaking and surreal.

With the Bruins in the middle of a four-game road trip, the 22-year-old McLaughlin practiced at Warrior Ice Arena while a first-time Black and Gold member on Wednesday morning. He was assigned to the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League when the Bruins called forward Jack Studnicka.

“Always very grateful”: Billerica’s Marc McLaughlin recounts the Olympic experience of men’s hockey

The timing of his pro debut is undecided.

Marc McLaughlin meets an opponent at the Beijing Olympics in February.

“I’m just focused on getting familiar with everything; get up to speed, learn the systems and start practices first,” he said, “and we’ll see what the coaches decide and go from there.

The United States team Marc McLaughlin is living his Olympic dream as he competes for a prestigious award

McLaughlin had an assist on Saturday in Boston College’s 3-2 loss to Northeastern, which knocked the Eagles out of the Hockey East playoffs. His career in British Columbia was cut short this season when he was selected to play for the United States at the Olympic Games in China. Despite missing five games, he still led the Eagles with 21 goals, which is tied for fifth in the nation.

The two-year BC captain was named Hockey East’s top defensive forward after his junior season and says his two-way play should translate well with the Bruins.

Billerica's Marc McLaughlin in his Team USA jersey as he prepares to play at the Beijing Olympics.

“I feel like I’m pretty physical and like a 200 foot player,” he said. “I really enjoy the defensive side of the puck and playing hard and playing aggressive. I can’t wait to bring that and compete as high as I can.

McLaughlin said “a bunch” of other NHL teams were interested in signing him, but the Bruins were his first choice, not just because of their whereabouts.

american Olympian, Billerica’s Marc McLaughlin Named Walter Brown Award Semi-Finalist

“I really liked the cut,” he said. “The organization is second to none – their values ​​and character – really matched what I was looking for. I’m super excited to get started.

Billerica resident Marc McLaughlin was selected to the United States Olympic men's ice hockey team in January after a lifetime of sport and four years on the Boston College men's hockey team.

He said he grew up a “huge Bruins fan. My complete family. They are quite thrilled and excited too. It’s definitely a dream not only to play in the NHL, but also to wear a Bruins jersey. There were several teams. »

McLaughlin played junior hockey with the Cedar Rapids, Iowa RoughRiders and will become the 29th former player to make it to the NHL, including current Bruin Jack Ahcan.

The former Cushing Academy player said he chose the number 26 in honor of his older brother, Sean, who wore it growing up and playing for the Marlborough Junior Bruins of the League. Eastern junior hockey. Sean McLaughlin had to move to No. 25 while playing for Wentworth Institute of Technology because 26 was already taken, the same scenario that played out for Marc in BC: he took 25 because 26 was busy .

Marc McLaughlin (center) is a two-time captain at Boston College.

Wearing the spoked B on the front is a dream come true.

“I am extremely grateful,” he said. “I can’t thank my family and everyone who helped me get to this point enough. You really need a village. There were a lot of people in Billerica who helped me get here. They really shaped me to be who I am.

Follow Tim Dumas on Twitter: @TimDumas.

Catherine J. Martinez