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Copp forgoes senior year at Michigan to sign with Winnipeg Jets

Bill Rapai

University of Michigan junior forward Andrew Copp will forgo his senior season in Ann Arbor to sign a NHL entry level contract with the Winnipeg Jets. The captain of the Wolverines had 14 goals and 17 assists for 31 points in 37 games played this past season. He finishes his career in maize and blue with 40 goals and 41 assists.

A native of Ann Arbor, he played midget hockey for Compuware before joining the US NTDP and eventually matriculating to his hometown Wolverines. A fourth round selection of the Jets in 2013, Copp was sometimes over shadowed during his time at Michigan, but he's a solid two-way center that is known as an outstanding leader.

Copp was rated as the No. 34 NHL prospect in SB Nation's NCAA Top 100 NHL Prospects last month. SB Nation College Hockey Managing Editor Chris Dilks described Copp's game in the article.

Copp is big, athletic, and an excellent leader. He plays a strong two-way game. He's been overshadowed a bit by the superlative offensive performance of teammates Dylan Larkin and Zach Hyman, but Copp's offensive numbers have been strong, while still making plays on the defensive end as well.

He will likely join the AHL's St. John's IceCaps, the top affiliate of Winnipeg, immediately. The Jets placed a high priority on signing Copp this offseason rather than potentially risk losing him as a free agent after next season, according to a report from Mike Spath of TheWolverine.com.

It was announced earlier this week that longtime Michigan head coach Red Berenson would return for the 2015-16 season.

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Jeff Cox covers college, junior, high school and prep hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.