March 27, 2008 PRINT Bookmark and Share

Jones, O'Keefe Sign Pro Deals

CHN Staff Report

College hockey lost two more players this week, Merrimack's Matt Jones and Ferris State's Mitch O'Keefe.

O'Keefe, a junior goalie who had actually already exhausted his collegiate eligibility, was signed after the Detroit Red Wings — Grand Rapids' parent team — recalled former Maine all-American Jimmy Howard. O'Keefe received an amateur tryout deal.

O'Keefe, who turns 24 this Saturday, was 10-8-5 this past season with a 2.28 goals against average and .920 save percentage.

O'Keefe is set to back up another former college player, Adam Berkhoel, who helped lead Denver to the 2004 national championship.

Meanwhile, sophomore forward Matt Jones signed a pro contract with the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. Jones, an undrafted free agent, was assigned to Worcester of the AHL.

Jones led Merrimack with 15 goals and 124 shots and was second with 22 points and four power-play goals in 2007-08. He scored the first goal of the game a team-high six times and was the Warriors' lone representative on the Hockey East All-Conference team, earning an honorable mention.

The right wing is the first Warrior to leave school early for an NHL contract since Matt Foy and Anthony Aquino departed following the 2001-02 season.

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