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Saad and Others Sign with CHL

There's been quite a few Americans/college prospects that have signed with the CHL over the last week or so, so I figured I would run some of them down.

NTDP forward Brandon Saad finally made it official by signing with the Saginaw Spirit. It was a bit of a gutsy move by Saginaw keeping him on their list for two years and not taking the compensatory pick. Saad was caught in the same situation as past NTDPers Pat Kane and Peter Mueller in that he had aged out of the program, but still had another year of schooling before he could play in college. Saad was given the option of returning to the NTDP for half a season--just playing USHL games and college exhibitions--while he finished his schoolwork and then joining a college team at the semester break, and as late as Tuesday of this week, there were rumors he was considering that, but ultimately he decided on Saginaw.

The London Knights signed Belle Tire defenseman Troy Donnay. Donnay is a big 6'7" defenseman with a lot of potential. After not getting a spot on the NTDP team, he decided to sign with London. To sweeten the deal, London also signed his older brother Cody, who played in the NAHL for Marquette last season.

Detroit Honeybaked goalie Brandon Hope signed with the Sarnia Sting. There's an interesting debate about the NCAA vs. the CHL when it comes to goalies, that is a little different than position players. As anybody who has attended a USHL or NAHL tryout knows, there's a lot of goalies out there, vying for very few college hockey roster spots, and in the large majority of cases, a scholarship offer isn't likely to come until a player is 19 or 20 because it takes goalies longer to develop.

At the same time, the picture isn't much prettier in the CHL. Even the very best of the best goalies don't make it to the NHL until the age of 21 at the earliest, and it would be a huge stretch to put Hope in that category. More than likely, Hope will be faced with the decision of grinding things out in the minor leagues to earn his way to the NHL, or taking advantage of that "first-class education package" and giving up his hopes of a career in hockey. I wonder which one the kid that has done nothing but be a hockey player all his life will choose?

Shattuck goalie Anthony Terenzio committed to playing for the Halifax Mooseheads in the QMJHL, along with former Maine recruit Darcy Ashley. Ashley is a bit of a head-scratcher, given that he's 5'7" and likely not looking at much of a future in pro hockey, but Halifax is one of the richer teams in the QMJHL, and must have found a way to persuade him.