Terry signed a one-year deal with the Villians on Monday night.
And Bruce believes his new signing could help lead the club back to the Premier League.
"We'd have loved to have signed him when he was 26, not 36," Bruce joked via Sky Sports.
"But he's in excellent shape for his age. It's what he can bring to the dressing room and the whole football club. It's a statement of intent.
"He's certainly the most decorated [Championship player], and when you've got the calibre of John Terry you'll ultimately cost a fair few quid, but he's worth every penny.
"I think John can play beyond this year, but that will be up to him. I think a lot of people have retired too early."