Jooris Leaves Union, Signs With Calgary
CHN Staff Report
SCHENECTADY, N.Y. Union senior-to-be Josh Jooris has decided to leave school and sign a two year entry-level NHL contract with the Calgary Flames.
Jooris joins former teammates Troy Grosenick (San Jose Sharks), Jeremy Welsh (Carolina Hurricanes) and Keith Kinkaid (New Jersey Devils) as the fourth Union player in the past three seasons to sign an NHL contract as an undrafted free agent.
Jooris said it was an extremely difficult decision, and didn't expect to get the chance after attending Calgary's development camp earlier in the summer.
"I think it caught a lot of people off guard, including myself," Jooris told the Schenectady Gazette. "Going into this summer, I wasn't expecting anything out of this camp. Never in my dreams did I think that I would be getting this opportunity to play. ... They liked the way I played. They liked what I brought on and off the ice, and they said they were going to offer me a contract."
Jooris, a native of Burlington, Ontario, finishes his Union career with 29 goals and 59 assists in 153 career games. He was Union’s active career leader in playoff scoring with 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 16 postseason contests, including two goals in Union’s 5-1 win over Boston College in the opening round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Union coach Rick Bennett wished Jooris the best, but didn't seem pleased with the timing.
"I don't think it's the best timing in the world when you lose one of your top centers this late in the game," Bennett told the Gazette. "But he's going to fulfill his dreams of signing a National Hockey League deal. That's what he and his family wanted, and that's what they got."
Jooris earned a reputation as a clutch player and key component of Union's NCAA teams the past three seasons, including 2012's Frozen Four run. Jooris became the first Union player to record a hat trick in his debut, notching three goals and an assist in his first career game against Sacred Heart on Oct. 8, 2010. Later on in his freshman year, he would score a memorable game-winning goal in a 3-2 overtime win at Minnesota in the Mariucci Classic on Dec. 31, 2010.
"The boys in that dressing room were the best group of guys I could ever imagine playing with," Jooris said. "This is what made this decision the hardest I have ever had to face, and it makes the moment bittersweet.”