The University of Michigan announced on Friday afternoon that junior goalie Strauss Mann will not be returning to the Wolverines next season, as he intends to pursue a professional career:
Mann is an undrafted free agent that can sign with any NHL team, and after drawing considerable pro interest after the past two seasons, should have multiple options.
After a tough freshman season, Mann developed into one of the premier goalies in college hockey. He posted .930+ save percentages in each of the next two seasons and was named as a finalist for the Mike Richter Award in both seasons.
As a pro prospect, Mann is listed at 6-0, which is relatively small compared to the behemoths that usually guard NHL nets, but Mann’s track record of success, as well as his incredible maturity, discipline and focus both on and off the ice have led some to believe that he may be able to succeed in the pros despite being a smaller than average goalie.
Michigan remains in good shape in goal, considering the circumstance, after a promising freshman season last year from Buffalo Sabres third round pick Erik Portillo, who posted a .935 save percentage in seven appearances for Michigan this season.