Less than two weeks after publicly confirming that he planned to play for Boston College next season, Sonny Milano, the 16th overall pick in this summer's NHL Draft, and one of the top recruits in the country, has decided he will sign a professional contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets, voiding his college eligibility.
Boston College's official Twitter feed released a quote from head coach Jerry York on the situation:
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
Milano will go to training camp with the Blue Jackets, and if he does not make the team, he can be sent to the Blue Jackets AHL affiliate in Springfield, Massachusetts--because Milano was not drafted out of the CHL, he is allowed to play in the AHL as an 18-year-old--and be assigned to the CHL, where the Plymouth Whalers hold his rights. The most likely scenario would probably involve Milano getting a few games with the Blue Jackets--he can play up to nine without burning the first year of his entry-level contract--before being reassigned to Plymouth if he can't make an impact right away.
It's a tough blow for Boston College to lose such a talented player so close to the start of the season, though the Eagles will likely have a hard time finding any sympathy for their plight. Milano only came to be an Eagle after switching his commitment from Notre Dame right before the beginning of the November signing period last fall, in a move that created controversy in the college hockey world, and ultimately led to some schools choosing to ignore the so-called "Gentleman's Agreement" of not recruiting players that had committed to another school.