Thursday, March 29, 2012

Leavin' early (updated)

Update: Add St. Cloud State goalie Mike Lee to the mix ...

It's that time of year again, when college hockey players begin signing pro contracts. That includes players leaving before their eligibility is up. This week, Minnesota Duluth's J.T. Brown, a free agent, signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Denver's Jason Zucker inked a deal with the Minnesota Wild, the team that drafted him (he'll be in the Wild's lineup Thursday night). That puts the WCHA early departure list at six seven and all of college hockey at 14 18 so far.

Here's the WCHA list:

Mike Lee, St. Cloud State junior, Phoenix
J.T. Brown, Minnesota Duluth sophomore, Tampa Bay
Jason Zucker, Denver sophomore, Minnesota
Drew Shore, Denver junior, Florida
David Eddy, St. Cloud State junior, Calgary
Terry Broadhurst, Nebraska Omaha junior, Chicago
Jaden Schwartz, Colorado College sophomore, St. Louis

If you include departing seniors, the top five scorers and seven of the top 11 in the WCHA won't be back next year. Certainly, there will be eyes on North Dakota's Brock Nelson, Minnesota's Nick Bjugstad (still playing) and Wisconsin's Justin Schultz, all of whom were in the top 15 in conference scoring.

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