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The Wait is Over for Wheeler

Tuesday, 07.1.2008 / 4:42 PM ET / Features
By Hannah Goldman  - Intern | BostonBruins.com
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The Wait is Over for Wheeler
Blake Wheeler
After a couple weeks of speculation, newly acquired Bruins forward Blake Wheeler is happy to finally be a Boston Bruin.

Wheeler, who recently finished his third year with the University of Minnesota, opted out of his senior season with the Gophers to turn pro. But Wheeler chose not to sign with the Phoenix Coyotes, who drafted him 5th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, and became a free agent.

That was great news for the Black & Gold, as Wheeler decided that Boston was definitely the place for him.

“One of the biggest things about the Bruins organization was having someone like Mr. Cam Neely in the front office,” Wheeler explained via conference call on Tuesday afternoon. “The way he played the game is something (on which) I would like to model my game.

“If I can be a sponge…and learn everything that he can offer me, that is something that is highly valuable for someone like myself.”

Number eight may have been a major attraction for the young man from Minnesota, but so were the city and the chance to wear a Black & Gold jersey.

“I am really excited to be a part of the Boston Bruins,” he said. “Signing my fist contract is a dream come true.

“It is great to be a part of the great city of Boston, and what people are calling Titletown, USA.”

Right now, for Wheeler and the Bruins, the sky is the limit.

“It’s exciting to be a part of an organization that is up-and-coming, on a team that can develop the young guys like (Milan) Lucic and (David) Krejci, and be on a team that was part of the playoffs last year,” said Wheeler. “That, coupled with the amazing city of Boston, made (the decision) a no-brainer for me.”

Finding a roster where he could make an immediate impact was another important factor for the big forward.

“(Having a shot) is all I can ask for,“ said Wheeler. “At the same time, if I am not ready to make the team, I can go work on my game in a place like Providence and hopefully -- sooner rather than later -- be ready to play in the (NHL).”

Next week, at the B’s development camp, the man nicknamed “Wheels” will begin his journey with the Hub of Hockey.

“I couldn’t be happier that July 1st has finally come,” he said. “Being able to pick where you want to play and where you want to live is something that most players do not get the opportunity to do until their mid to late 20's.

“To be able to do it as a 21-year-old was the most attractive option for me.”

Finally, Wheeler is also excited to be able to join forces with an old linemate and friend.
“Phil Kessel is an unbelievable talent,” Wheeler said. “Watching him play, you can all see how highly skilled he is, how fast he is and how good he is with the puck.

“But (more than that), we are pretty good buddies (and) it is definitely cool to have someone who you are pretty good friends with in a city where you are going to be the new guy.”

Although, beyond having a friend in the system, being 6’5 and 215-pounds can’t hurt either – unless you are on the other team.

Welcome to Boston, Blake.

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
2 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
3 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
4 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
5 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
6 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
7 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
8 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

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2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 81 23 32 2 55
L. Eriksson 81 22 25 1 47
M. Lucic 81 18 26 13 44
C. Soderberg 82 13 31 10 44
B. Marchand 77 24 18 5 42
D. Hamilton 72 10 32 -3 42
R. Smith 81 13 27 7 40
T. Krug 78 12 27 13 39
D. Krejci 47 7 24 7 31
C. Kelly 80 7 21 6 28
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 34 21 13 .922 2.30
N. Svedberg 7 5 1 .918 2.33
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