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Michigan's Tyler Motte signs with Chicago Blackhawks

The junior forward was a top ten finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.

Patrick Barron

The first member of the CCM line is moving on to the professional ranks.

Junior forward Tyler Motte has signed an entry level contract with the Chicago Blackhawks that begins in 2016-17. Motte, a 4th round pick (121st overall) of the Blackhawks in 2013, will give up his senior year of eligibility.

"I'm excited," Motte said in a statement released by the University. "The timing was right and the opportunity in the near future was tough to pass up. It'll be tough leaving Michigan, especially my teammates, the coaching staff, and friends and family that are close by. I'll be back to graduate whether it's over the summer with classes or down the road."

Playing with freshman Kyle Connor and junior captain JT Compher, Motte was a top ten finalist for the Hobey Baker Award this season and had a 16 game point streak at one point, including 12 straight with a goal. The St. Clair, Michigan native finished with 56 points in 44 games. More than doubling his career total, Motte's 32 goals this season were second in the nation behind Connor. He also ended up leading the nation in blocked shot (70) by a forward.

Motte is SB Nation College Hockey's 33rd best NHL prospect playing college hockey this season. From Chris Dilks:

At the pro level, Motte still projects as a high-energy two-way winger that is better known for his grit and hard work than scoring pretty goals, but this season has shown that he knows what to do with the puck when paired with talented players

Motte finishes his Wolverines career with 105 points (50G-55A) in 107 games. He joins Michael Downing and Zach Werenski as Michigan players who have left early this season while the fates of Connor (Winnipeg Jets) and Compher (Colorado Avalanche) remain to be seen.