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Boston Bruins sign renounced Arizona draft pick, former UND commit Mitchell Miller

Miller was kicked off the UND hockey team by President Andy Armacost before ever playing a game.

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Mitchell Miller of the Tri-City Storm makes a pass during a United States Hockey League game.
Eldon Holmes / Tri-City Storm

BOSTON — Defenseman Mitchell Miller, who was kicked off of UND's hockey team two years ago by President Andy Armacost before ever playing a game due to past racism and bullying, has signed an entry-level contract with the Boston Bruins.

Miller had been playing junior hockey with the Tri-City Storm in the United States Hockey League.

"When I was in eighth grade, I made an extremely poor decision and acted very immaturely," Miller said in a statement. "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 far-reaching consequences of my actions that I failed to recognize and understand nearly seven years ago. I strive to be a better person and positively contribute to society.

"As a member of the Bruins organization, I will continue to participate in community programs to both educate myself and share my mistakes with others to show what a negative impact those actions can have on others. To be clear, what I did when I was 14 years old was wrong and unacceptable. There is no place in this world for being disrespectful to others and I pledge to use this opportunity to speak out against mistreating others."

Miller arrived on campus in the fall of 2020, but was booted from the team after an Arizona Republic article detailed past bullying and racism when Miller was 14 years old. He was allowed to continue as a student.

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"All of my decisions concern what's respectful of the people on the campus," Armacost said at the time. "Since my early days of the presidency, diversity, equity, inclusion have been important and so you'll find that those ideals mattered to me deeply. … A lot that went into this decision."

MORE ON MITCHELL MILLER:
Former University of North Dakota commit set a number of league records this past season after not playing in 2020-21. Miller was a fourth-round draft pick of the Arizona Coyotes in 2020 but the NHL team renounced its rights to him after a report surfaced about an assault, bullying and racial abuse incident in 2016.
Mitchell Miller is no longer a part of UND's hockey team.
The Arizona Coyotes announced Thursday that they have renounced the rights to UND freshman hockey player Mitchell Miller after using a fourth-round draft pick to select him earlier this month.
UND incoming freshman Mitchell Miller addressed Monday incidents of bullying and racism that occurred when he was in eighth grade at McCord Junior High School in Sylvania, Ohio.

The Arizona Coyotes, who selected Miller in the fourth round of the NHL Draft, also renounced their pick.

Miller returned to the USHL last season and won the league's MVP award, tallying 39 goals and 83 points in 60 games for Tri-City.

A couple of college teams looked into bringing him aboard, but ultimately did not.

"Representing the Boston Bruins is a privilege we take seriously as an organization," said Cam Neely, Bruins president. "Respect and integrity are foundational character traits we expect of our players and staff. Prior to signing Mitchell, our hockey operations and community relations groups spent time with him over the last few weeks to better understand who he is as an individual and learn more about a significant mistake he made when he was in middle school.

"During this evaluation period, Mitchell was accountable for his unacceptable behavior and demonstrated his commitment to work with multiple organizations and professionals to further his education and use his mistake as a teachable moment for others. The expectation is that he will continue this important educational work with personal development and community programs as a member of the Bruins organization."

Schlossman has covered college hockey for the Grand Forks Herald since 2005. He has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors as the top beat writer for the Herald's circulation division four times and the North Dakota sportswriter of the year once. He resides in Grand Forks. Reach him at bschlossman@gfherald.com.
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