Oshie Signs With Blues
CHN Staff Report
GRAND FORKS, N.D. It took a little longer than some may have expected, but North Dakota forward T.J. Oshie finally signed a professional contract with the St. Louis Blues today.
Oshie, who becomes the 21st college player to leave school with eligibility remaining since the season ended, was a first round NHL Draft pick of the Blues (24th overall) in 2005.
"I have decided to pursue my dream of playing in the NHL next season with the St. Louis Blues organization," Oshie said in a statement. "This could not have become possible without the help of my fans, coaches, and teammates. Thanks to the fans who have stood behind me through the good and bad times. You are truly the best fans in college hockey.
"A special thanks to the coaching staff for teaching and guiding me to become the best hockey player and man I can be. Most of all I would like to thank my teammates. My success is directly related to our team success. You have become my lifelong friends and I would 'go to war' with you guys any day. I have had the time of my life at UND and am very proud to have worn the Sioux sweater and added to its tradition.
"I would also like to wish 'the boys' the best of luck next year! I'll be watching."
Oshie played three seasons for UND, going to the Frozen Four all three years. He scored a team-high 45 points, with 18 goals this past season.
Oshie was a first team West All-American and first team All-WCHA forward in 2007-08, and a Top 10 Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist. Oshie is one of just 15 players in school history to be named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, awarded annually to college hockey's best player.
"Two years running T.J. has been voted by his teammates as the Cliff 'Fido' Purpur Award winner (given to the UND player who demonstrates hard work, determination and being a creator of excitement on the ice)," said Sioux coach Dave Hakstol. "I think this honor says it all in terms of T.J.'s on-ice performance. He is an equally outstanding person off the ice.
"Throughout his time in the program, T.J. has handled both his successes and challenges with great class and composure. Over his three years here at UND, he has demonstrated that he truly understands what it means to put on the Fighting Sioux jersey. We look forward to watching the next phase of his career as he steps into the National Hockey League with the St. Louis Blues organization."
In his three-year Fighting Sioux career, Oshie had 142 points (59 goals, 83 assists) in 129 games. His 142 points rank 30th all-time in UND history, and his 16 career game-winning goals are second only in school history to Mark Taylor's 18 from 1976-80.