Northeastern senior forward Vinny Saponari has signed an amateur tryout (ATO) contract with the St. John's IceCaps of the American Hockey League. The Powder Springs, Georgia native was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in the fourth round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. The Thrashers re-located to Winnipeg prior to last season. St. John's is the AHL affiliate of Winnipeg.
Saponari was a highly sought after recruit from the US National Development Program. He committed to Boston University and played his first two seasons for Jack Parker. While Saponari was a BU freshman, the Terriers won the NCAA National Championship. He scored 12 goals and added 18 assists as a sophomore, but several off-ice incidents led to his dismissal from the BU hockey program.
Saponari spent a year away from the college game, playing for the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the USHL, then transferred to Northeastern where he played the past two seasons. He totaled 14 goals and 38 assists in two seasons playing for Jim Madigan at NU. The Huskies missed the Hockey East playoffs in both seasons.
In other Northeastern related news, sophomore defenseman Ben Oskroba has been asked by the coaching staff to not return to the team. The Tempe, Arizona native played in 22 games this season after playing in just nine his freshman season.
Jeff Cox covers college hockey for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.