(Updated at 2:30 p.m. on July 26, 2016)
A record 11 underclassmen have left NCHC schools early this offseason with sophomore goaltender Kasimir Kaskisuo being the most notable for Minnesota Duluth fans. Kaskisuo signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs as an unrestricted free agent two days after the Bulldogs 2015-16 season came to an end in the NCAA Northeast Regional Final in Worcester, Mass.
The defending NCHC and NCAA champions from North Dakota have been hit the hardest in the league with five underclassmen leaving early.
NCHC schools saw seven underclassmen leave after its first two seasons (2014-15 and 2013-14) while nine underclassmen left NCHC schools prior to the league’s first season.
Below is a running list of early departures from NCHC schools. For a complete list of pro signees, check out College Hockey Inc.’s list here. We’re up to 29 juniors, eight sophomores and four freshmen for a grand total of 41 underclassmen this year compared to 33 a year ago.
Running list of NCHC early departures
Kasimir Kaskisuo, So, G (Toronto Maple Leafs) *
Jake Guentzel, Jr, F (Pittsburgh Penguins)
St. Cloud State
Charlie Lindgren, Jr, G (Montreal Canadiens) *
Patrick Russell, So, F (Edmonton Oilers) *
Danton Heinen, So, F (Boston Bruins)
Trevor Moore, So, F (Toronto Maple Leafs)*
Troy Stecher, Jr, D (Vancouver Canucks)*
Keaton Thompson, Jr, D (Anaheim Ducks)
Paul LaDue, Jr, D (L.A. Kings)
Luke Johnson, Jr, F (Chicago Blackhawks)
Nick Schmaltz, So, F, (Chicago Blackhawks)
* – Notes players signed as an undrafted unrestricted free agent.
Editor’s note: Miss an early signing? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.