Boston College men’s hockey forward Nikita Nesterenko signed a three-year entry level contract with the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday.
The Minnesota Wild originally drafted 172nd overall the Brooklyn, N.Y. native in the 2019 NHL Draft but traded his rights to the Ducks along with a 2025 fourth-round selection for Swedish defenseman John Klingberg on March 3, 2023.
Nesterenko will report directly to Anaheim. Former BC teammate Drew Helleson is also a part of the Ducks organization—he plays for Anaheim’s American Hockey League affiliate, the San Diego Gulls.
Nesterenko is the first player from BC’s 2022–23 roster to sign a professional contract this offseason.
Nesterenko, a current junior, played three seasons on the Heights. He was named Hockey East’s Co-Rookie of the Year alongside UMass’ Josh Lopina during the 2020–21 season. He was also selected to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team during the 2020–21 season, helping BC make it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament as a No. 1 seed.
The 21-year-old frequently played on a line with classmate Colby Ambrosio throughout his career before being put on a line with freshmen Cutter Gauthier and Andre Gasseau during the back half of the 2022–23 season. Nesterenko played for two head coaches during his time at BC—Jerry York and Greg Brown.
During his junior year, Nesterenko registered 34 points in 36 games with the Eagles. His 13 goals and 21 assists were both single-season career highs, and he co-led BC in assists and finished second in total points.
In total, Nesterenko scored 28 goals and recorded 77 points while wearing a BC sweater.
His absence on the top line opens up opportunities for other junior forwards like Trevor Kuntar for next year’s squad, who at times played with Gauthier and Gasseau this past season.
He joins a Ducks organization in the middle of a rebuilding phase, as Anaheim currently holds the NHL’s fourth-lowest point total and sits second to last in the Pacific Division.