Good news: according to SB Nation College Hockey's Jeff Cox, the USHL's Youngstown Phantoms have signed 2016-17, highly-touted BC commit Jacob Tortora to a tender. What does that mean and why is it good?
Essentially, this teams that Yougnstown is extremely confident Tortora will play in the USHL in 2015-16 because if they're wrong and Tortora decides to go play in major juniors in Canada, Youngstown wastes a first round pick in the Futures Draft. The NCAA does not consider the USHL a "pro" league and ad such, playing in it does not end NCAA eligibility.
That's not the case for players who jump to the Canadian Hockey League, a huge fear after Tortora was drafted in the first round by the OHL's Barrie Colts. While Tortora could still theoretically end up in Barrie, either this year in spite of the Youngstown contract, or next season in spite of the BC commitment, this news is a good sign that Tortora's plans at least for now keep him in the United States and NCAA-eligible.