Draft prospect Mitchell Miller signed an entry-level contract with the Boston Bruins on Friday after it was made public that he and a classmate were accused of assaulting and threatening a developmentally disabled classmate.

The 20-year-old defender He was a fourth round pick of the Arizona Coyotes in 2020. Not long after he was drafted, but in Arizona Republic In the year In 2016, Miller and another middle school classmate, Isaiah Meyer-Crothers, who is black, were convicted of racism and bullying in juvenile court.

In the report, Meyer-Crothers’ mother said Miller began abusing her son when he was in the second grade and repeatedly used racial slurs.

“When I was in eighth grade, I made some very poor decisions and acted very immaturely,” Miller said in a statement released by the Bruins on Friday. “I assaulted one of my classmates. I am very sorry for what happened and I have apologized to the person. Since the incident, seven years ago, I fully understand the great consequences of my actions, which I did not know and could not understand.”

“… To be clear, what I did as a 14-year-old was wrong and unacceptable. There is no place in this world for disrespecting others and I pledge to use this opportunity to stand up against the abuse of others.”

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

Bruins president Cam Neely said the team’s hockey operations and community relations teams have spent time with Miller over the past few weeks to “better understand” who he is as an individual and “learn more about the significant mistakes he made in high school.”

“During this review, Mitchell took responsibility for his unacceptable behavior and demonstrated his commitment to working with multiple organizations and professionals to expand his education and take advantage of the opportunity to educate others about his mistakes,” Neely said in a statement. “It is hoped that he will continue this important educational work with personal development and community programs as a member of the Bruins organization.”

NHL Central Scouting ranked Miller as the No. 49 North American skater in its final pre-draft rankings, but he slipped to the fourth round because of what teams knew about 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, but “we felt it was our responsibility to be part of the solution in a real way — to not only say and do the right thing, but to make sure others are.”

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

Miller was ultimately waived by the Coyotes less than a month later. Miller was withdrawn from the University of North Dakota, where he enrolled as a freshman.

He sat out the 2020-21 season before returning to play with the USHL’s Tri-City Storm in 2021-22. Miller led the league with 39 goals, was named the USL Defensive Player of the Year and Player of the Year, and had 83 points — both single-season league records in 60 games.

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