J.T. Brown Leaves UMD After 2 Seasons
Considered One of the Top Free Agents in College Hockey
CHN Staff Report
Minnesota-Duluth sophomore J.T. Brown has signed with the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning, giving up his final two years of NCAA eligibility. Brown was one of the most highly sought after free agents after scoring 24 goals this past season. He was Most Outstanding Player in last year's Frozen Four, when Minnesota-Duluth won its first national title.
Brown signed a two-year, entry-level deal with the Lightning that will make him $832,000 per season if he plays in the NHL. He will not be eligible for this year's playoffs, but can play in Tampa's final six regular-season games.
Brown, 21, led the Bulldogs in goals this season, and was third in points with 47 in 39 games. In 80 games at Duluth over two seasons, Brown had 40-44—84. He was an all-WCHA First Team selection this year.
Tampa Bay's senior adviser to the general manager is former Bulldog and Hobey Baker Award winner Tom Kurvers.
“He plays hard both ways, he’s aggressive, he has speed, moves the puck, has a scoring knack and is a clutch performer. He played his absolute best in the Frozen Four last year,” Kurvers told the Duluth News-Tribune. “His competitiveness is so noticeable and he has a little evil streak, which he’s learned to control.”
Brown was arrested last June on charges of trying to flee police, and giving police a false name. The incident occurred at a local bar, just two weeks before his 21st birthday, as he was being cited for using a false identification. Officers told Brown he would just get a fine, but then Brown tried to flee the scene before being subdued by officers. March 19, Brown pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors. He has not yet been sentenced.
Brown is the son of former Minnesota Vikings running back Ted Brown, and at Duluth he wore his dad's old No. 23 in his honor.