The Boston Bruins needed some organizational depth up the middle after watching Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci retire over the summer.

It took a little bit of creativity, but they got some just days after Krejci’s decision.

The B’s announced they signed Harvard center John Farinacci to a two-year entry-level contract with an annual NHL cap hit of $910,000 on Wednesday. The 22-year-old was a highly-coveted college free agent who was originally taken by the Arizona Coyotes with the No. 76 pick of the 2019 NHL Draft.

He never signed, however, meaning Arizona officially lost its exclusive rights on him Tuesday. That’s when the Bruins slid in, prompting a “pretty easy decision” for the center.

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“Nothing could compare to being part of the Bruins,” Farinacci said Wednesday, per Conor Ryan of

Farinacci has plenty of Boston ties, having played three seasons at Harvard and is the nephew and cousin of former Bruins forwards Ted and Ryan Donato, respectively. He played for Ted Donato at Harvard, scoring 61 points in 79 games.

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The 6-foot, 185-pound forward believes himself to be a strong two-way player with a high hockey IQ.

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“I see myself as a 200-foot centerman,” Farinacci said Wednesday, per Scott McLaughlin of Audacy. “I think I can play on both ends of the ice, good on faceoffs. I think I can play any role that I need to. I kind of pride myself on being somebody that can do that. I think my hockey sense, intangible-wise, is probably my biggest strength.

“Obviously not comparing myself at all, but a guy that I watched a ton and really tried to emulate myself after was Patrice Bergeron. I think the way that he played the game was amazing. That’s a guy that I try to play like as much as I can.”

The rookie will be given a chance to compete for one of Boston’s open spots up the middle, though it is likely he opens the season with the Providence Bruins.

Featured image via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images