The NHL’s Boston Bruins announced Friday that the team signed Mitchell Miller to an entry-level contract. The signing comes two years after the Arizona Coyotes waived Miller, who was drafted by the Coyotes in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL draft, after a report in the Arizona Republic alleged that Miller bullied a black classmate with a disability as a child. High School in Sylvania, Ohio in 2016.
Miller and another teenager were accused of tricking Isaiah Meyers-Crothers into eating candy placed in a urinal and physically assaulting him. Miller and another teenager admitted to the harassment in Ohio juvenile court and were sentenced to community service, according to the Republic.
The Bruins released a statement from Miller, now 20, along with the signing announcement.
“When I was in eighth grade, I made a really bad decision and acted immaturely,” Miller said.
“I bullied one of my classmates. I deeply regret the incident and have apologized to the person. Since the incident, I have come to better understand the far-reaching consequences of my actions that I failed to recognize and understand nearly seven years ago. I try to be a better person and contribute positively to society. As a member of the Bruins organization, I will continue to participate in community programs, both to educate myself and to share my mistakes with others to show how those actions can negatively impact others. To be clear, what I did at 14 was wrong and unacceptable. There is no place in this world for disrespect towards others and I will use this opportunity to speak out against mistreatment of others.’
Bruins president Cam Neely said in the team’s statement, “Representing the Boston Bruins is a privilege we take seriously as an organization.”
“Prior to signing Mitchell, our Hockey Operations and Community Relations teams spent time with him over the last few weeks to better understand who he is and learn more about a significant mistake he made in middle school. During this evaluation period, Mitchell held himself accountable for his unacceptable behavior. he had and demonstrated a commitment to working with multiple organizations and professionals to further his education and use his mistake as a teaching moment for others. He hopes to continue this important educational work with personal development and community programs as a member of the Bruins organization.”
Miller played in 60 games last season with the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League. He was named USHL Player of the Year and Defenseman of the Year after setting league records for goals and assists in a season by a defenseman.