Leafs Sign RPI's D'Amigo; The Bleeding Continues
CHN Staff Report
The blows just keep on coming for college hockey.
Less than a month before the start of school, and teams keep losing their players to the pros. And in many cases, including the two most recent signings out of the ECAC, these are freshmen who, for most of the summer, said they would surely be returning.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have just announced they have signed RPI forward Jerry D'Amigo to a three-year contract. D'Amigo was a member of the gold-medal winning U.S. World Junior team last year, and had an excellent tournament. He was named ECAC's Freshman of the Year as well.
He joins Harvard's Louis Leblanc, who signed with Montreal last week. Both were expected to be star sophomores for their teams this year.
We've been very pleased with Jerry's progression over the past 12 months," Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke said in a statement. "[RPI coach] Seth Appert and the rest of the coaching staff have done a really nice job of preparing Jerry for the next stage in his development. We look forward to having him at training camp."
With so many defections in recent years, you'd think there weren't any more players to leave. But this summer, there has been a record 30-plus departures (and counting). It means college hockey is still recruiting good players, and it means they are still losing them faster than ever.
Calls for the NHL to do something to prevent this have fallen on deaf ears, so far. At the recent World Hockey Summit in Toronto, no one from college hockey was invited.