Notre Dame junior forward Anders Lee has signed with the New York Islanders, according to Arthur Staple of Newsday.
It's no surprise to see Lee leaving for the pros. Lee was heavily pursued by the Islanders last summer after an impressive 17-17-34 scoring line as sophomore, but chose to return to Notre Dame for his junior season. He improved on those numbers with a 20-18-38 line this past season, leading the Irish in scoring. Lee is a power forward, standing at 6-3 220 lbs., but is a tremendous athlete. Lee was our third-rated NHL prospect in the WCHA/CCHA behind only Nick Bjugstad and Jacob Trouba.
Lee looked like he had played his last college hockey game following Saturday's NCAA tournament loss to St. Cloud State, as he struggled to hold back tears during his team's post-game press conference. The only real question was where he would play. Because Lee played a year with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL prior to joining Notre Dame, he could have used the so-called "Goepfert Rule" made famous by Justin Schultz last season to become a free agent 30 days after withdrawing from school.
But signing with the Islanders gives Lee the opportunity to play immediately. Lee is reportedly joining the team in Newark today, and the Islanders announced that former North Dakota defenseman Joe Finley has been retroactively placed on the injured reserve to open up a roster spot for Lee.