WCHA Pro Signings Update

Colorado College forward Jaden Schwartz signed with the St. Louis Blues.

Colorado College forward Jaden Schwartz kicked off the annual WCHA early departure party last week, forgoing his final two years at CC to sign with the St. Louis Blues.The Sophomore led the Tigers in scoring this season with 15 goals and 41 points in 30 games.

Schwartz jumped straight to the NHL, and scored a goal in his first pro game on Saturday vs Tampa Bay.

Terry Broadhurst from Nebraska-Omaha was next, signing a contract with the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday. Broadhurst, who is a junior forward finished second on the Mavericks in scoring this season with 36 points in 38 games. Broadhurst is expected to join Chicago's top farm club in Rockford.

St. Cloud State's David Eddy rounds out the early departures so far. The junior forward signed a two year contract with the Calgary Flames on Tuesday. Eddy had 25 points in 39 games in an up and down season for the Huskies. Eddy will join the Flames AHL club in Abbotsford.

There were a couple WCHA seniors who signed pro contracts already as well.

St. Cloud State's Travis Novak signed an amateur tryout offer with Montreal's top farm team in the AHL, Hamilton. Arguably the fastest skater in the WCHA, Novak notched 25 points in 36 games this season for the Huskies.

Defenseman Gabe Guentzel from Colorado College has signed in the AHL as well. The son of Gopher assistant Mike signed an ATO with the Syracuse Crunch, a farm club of Anaheim.

Geuntzel was a three time 20 point producer for the Tigers, and finished his CC career with 94 points in 156 games from the blue-line. He was named second team All-WCHA this season.

The Chicago Wolves, the AHL affiliate for the Vancouver Canucks signed Bemidji State defenseman Brad Hunt last week. Hunt, who in my opinion should have been an All-WCHA honoree this season finished tied for second on the Beavers in scoring with 26 points in 38 games while playing all-league defense on the back end.

South Carolina of the ECHL was busy signing WCHA seniors over the weekend. Minnesota State's Michael Door signed a contract to join the Stingrays, as did Bemidji forward Shea Walters.

Tuesday WCHA Pro Signing Rumors

I checked in with my source on the Justin Schultz situation who told me that there has been no change in status for the Badger junior. As you already know, Schultz is weighing his options between returning to school for his senior season, signing with Anaheim right now, or waiting to become a free agent over the summer.

Last week I was told that Schultz is in no hurry to sign with Anaheim. That hasn't changed according to sources close to him. Schultz would have to sign prior to the end of the NHL season to burn a year off his entry level contract. The longer this drags out, the more and more likely we'll see Schultz opt to become a free agent over the summer where he'll have a number of suitors.

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I also checked in with Wisconsin sophomore Mark Zengerle. Even though he told Andy Baggot of the Wisconsin State Journal a few weeks ago he's 100% returning, his name continues to get brought up by people talking about potential college free agents that may sign pro contracts. Zengerle reiterated to Bucky's 5th Quarter that he will be back with the Badgers next season.

"I'll be back in Madison. It's not even a question," Zengerle said Monday night.

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It appears that Nebraska-Omaha may lose another underclassmen. In his article detailing Terry Broadhurst signing with Chicago, Omaha World Herald beat writer Rob White notes that up to 20 NHL teams have shown interest in 6'8 free agent defenseman Andrej Sustr. The Sophomore moves pretty well for his size, so it's not surprising that he's drawn the interest of NHL scouts.

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It sounds as if St. Cloud State may be losing a defenseman according to twitter chatter. The only two drafted blue-liners on the club are Nick Jensen (Detroit) and Kevin Gravel (L.A.).

I checked in with separate sources on both Tuesday afternoon. It sounds as if both players are letting the dust settle from the end of the season and are evaluating their options. Neither looks like they are likely to sign soon, although I got the feeling that Jensen was much more likely to move on.

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On his radio show Monday night Bob Motzko mentioned that in his gut he felt like Ben Hanowski would return for his senior season. Motkzo noted that Hanowski finally has his 'swagger' back.

Personally I think it's wishful thinking on Motzko's part. Pittsburgh is likely to make a big push to sign the Husky forward as they don't want to cross the bridge on losing him to free agency next year.

We'll see though. If St. Cloud has anything going for them it's that Hanowski's father is a teacher and he's likely close to earning his degree.

WCHA PRO SIGNINGS 2012
Player
WCHA Team
Eligibility
Pro Team Signed With:
Pro Team Assigned To:
Jaden Schwartz
Colorado College
Sophomore
St. Louis (NHL)
St. Louis (NHL)
Terry Broadhurst
Nebraska-Omaha
Junior
Chicago (NHL)
Rockford (AHL)
David Eddy
St. Cloud State
Junior
Calgary (NHL)
Abbotsford (AHL)
Travis Novak
St. Cloud State
Senior
Hamilton (AHL)
Hamilton (AHL)
Gabe Guentzel
Colorado College
Senior
Syracuse (AHL)
Syracuse (AHL)
Brad Hunt
Bemidji State
Senior
Chicago (AHL)
Chicago (AHL)
Michael Dorr
Minnesota State
Senior
South Carolina (ECHL)
South Carolina (ECHL)
Shea Walters
Bemidji State
Senior
South Carolina (ECHL)
South Carolina (ECHL)

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For more Wisconsin hockey coverage, follow Chuck on Twitter (@UWChuckSchwartz)

Chuck can also be reached via e-mail at chuckschwartz@live.com

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