Bruins sign Miller after intimidation conviction

Bruins sign Miller after intimidation conviction

Mitchell Miller, a prospect whose draft rights were dropped after it was publicly revealed that he and a classmate had been convicted of assaulting and bullying a classmate with an intellectual disability, signed a entry contract Friday with the Boston Bruins.

The 20-year-old defenseman was a fourth-round pick of the Arizona Coyotes in 2020. Shortly after his selection, however, an Arizona Republic report detailed how Miller and another college classmate were convicted in juvenile court in 2016 of racially abusing and bullying Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, who is black.

In the report, Meyer-Crothers’ mother alleged that Miller began abusing her son in second grade while using repeated racial epithets.

“When I was in eighth grade, I made an extremely bad decision and acted very immature,” Miller said in a statement released by the Bruins on Friday. “I bullied one of my classmates. I deeply regret the incident and have apologized to the individual. Since the incident, I have come to better understand the profound consequences of my actions that I failed to recognize and understand almost seven years ago.”

“…To be clear, what I did when I was 14 was wrong and unacceptable. There is no place in this world to be disrespectful to others and I pledge to take advantage of this opportunity to speak out against mistreating others.”

In his statement, Miller said he would continue to participate in community programs to educate himself and share “my mistakes with others to show the negative impact these actions can have on others.”

Bruins president Cam Neely said the team’s hockey operations department and community relations group have been spending time with Miller over the past few weeks to “get a better understanding” of who he is as a player. individual and “learn about a major mistake he made when he was in college.”

“During this evaluation period, Mitchell was accountable for his unacceptable behavior and demonstrated his commitment to working with multiple organizations and professionals to further his education and use his mistake as a teachable moment for others,” said Neely in the release. “He is expected to continue this important educational work with personal and community development programs as a member of the Bruins organization.”

NHL Central Scouting ranked Miller 49th among North American skaters in its final draft rankings, but he slipped in the fourth round as teams learned of his past.

Days after the Coyotes drafted Miller, the team said in a statement that “it would have been easy” to fire him like other teams have done, but “we felt he was ours.” responsibility to be part of the solution in a real way – not just saying and doing the right things ourselves, but making sure others do it too.”

The Coyotes have the NHL’s first Latino owner in Alex Meruelo and the league’s first Latino CEO and president in Xavier Gutierrez.

Miller finally had his draft rights dropped by the Coyotes less than a month later. He was also released from his scholarship at the University of North Dakota, where Miller was enrolled as a freshman.

He missed the 2020-21 season before returning to play with the USHL’s Tri-City Storm in 2021-22. Miller was named USHL Defenseman of the Year and Player of the Year after finishing tied for the league lead with 39 goals while tallying 83 points — two league records in a season for a defenseman — in 60 games.

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