Hockey East Stars Newton, Wellman Sign NHL Deals
CHN Staff Report
The annual exodus of college underclassmen to the pro ranks has begun in full force; Hockey East will lose Northeastern defenseman Jake Newton and Massachusetts forward Casey Wellman. Both were undrafted free agents.
Wellman, a sophomore for the Minutemen, has signed the maximum entry-level NHL deal with the Minnesota Wild, with maximum performance bonuses allowed. Wellman is flying to Minnesota today, and could suit up for the Wild tonight when they play Edmonton.
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Wellman, a 22-year old from Brentwood, Calif., had 23 goals and 45 points in 36 games this season, teaming up with James Marcou to become one of the top tandems in the nation. He had 34-44—78 in two seasons with the Minutemen.
Newton, 21, who, according to sources, is finalizing a deal with the Anaheim Ducks, played just one season at Northeastern. The Huskies' season ended with two losses to Boston University at the close of the regular season, and a ninth-place finish in Hockey East.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound defenseman from San Jancinto, Calif., was considered the top freshman defenseman in Hockey East this season. He had 22 points (9-13—22) in 34 games this season.