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Former Western Michigan recruit Michael McCarron inks 3-year deal with Montreal Canadiens

Michael McCarron opted to sign with the Montreal Canadiens instead of playing for Western Michigan.

Michael McCarron walks to the stage after being picked by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft in Newark, NJ June 30, 2013.
Michael McCarron walks to the stage after being picked by the Montreal Canadiens in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft in Newark, NJ June 30, 2013.
Bruce Bennett

The Montreal Canadiens and first round draft pick Michael McCarron have agreed to a three-year entry-level contract. The Grosse Point, Mich. native was scheduled to attend Western Michigan in the fall.

Because McCarron was drafted out of the US junior system and not the CHL, he has more options. He could play for Montreal, its AHL affiliate in Hamilton or in the OHL with the London Knights.

There are few franchises in professional sports that can be ranked ahead of the Montreal Canadiens in terms of prestige, history and tradition. That fact was not lost on McCarron following his selection.

"It's so special. Putting on an original six jersey gives me the chills," said McCarron immediately following the draft, of being picked by the Canadiens.

Western Michigan, coached by former NHL bench boss Andy Murray, still has a talented roster entering the first year of play in the newly formed National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC). It is possible the coaching staff at WMU will bring in a 2014 recruit a year early.

Jeff Cox is a hockey reporter for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.