Earlier this month, the destination of prized hockey recruit Sonny Milano was the subject of much speculation and debate as word got out that he was considering foregoing a college career to play in the CHL. Things took another turn tonight.
According to the program, Milano has opted instead to sign a professional contract with the Blue Jackets.
Sonny Milano has informed @BCHockeyNews that he will sign a professional contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets organization.— BC Hockey (@BCHockeyNews) August 16, 2014
Jerry York: "Sonny has informed me he will sign a contract with Columbus. They will dictate his path as he embarks upon his pro career."— BC Hockey (@BCHockeyNews) August 16, 2014
A first-round draft pick (16th overall) of the Columbus Blue Jackets in this past year's NHL Draft, realistically, BC probably only expected to hold onto Milano for just one season. But it's still a pretty big blow to a program looking to replace its top four scorers and nearly 50 percent of the total point production from last year's Frozen Four team. That the announcement happened so close to the start of the season makes this news sting even more.
Clearly, Milano, his family and Columbus think turning pro over spending a year at BC is the best decision for his career development. Can't begrudge Milano for choosing this route and looking out for his best interests. Unfortunately, this decision puts York and the program in a bit of a bind in terms of replacing Milano's assumed offensive production next season. It might be time to temper next season's expectations just a little bit.