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Steve Santini Signs with New Jersey Devils

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Boston College junior defenseman Steve Santini has given up his final year of eligibility to sign with the New Jersey Devils following the Eagles' Frozen Four semifinal loss to Quinnipiac on Thursday. The Devils selected Santini in the second round 42nd overall at the 2013 NHL Draft.

Santini was a rugged defensive defenseman that captained the Eagles this season, while also contributing 1-18-19 in 41 games for the Eagles. He was also among team leaders with a +24 +/- rating on the season.

We ranked Santini as the fourth-best NHL prospect in the NCAA this past season:

The son of a former college hockey player, Santini is as physical a defender as there is in college hockey. The Mahopac, NY native is not afraid to throw his weight and around and he has left more than a few opposing players bruised and battered. His mean streak is what's going to keep him in the NHL, but it's certainly not the only thing to like about his game.

He's a pro-ready skater who can go from stopped to start quickly. He can really get on opposing players coming at him and moving around the zone and in transition. The threat of his physicality keeps a lot of opposing players from coming across the middle. Like McCoshen, he will always be known more for his play in his own end than that of the offensive side of the puck. He does make good passes in transition and has a strong shot from the point.

He battled injury last season, but is back on track this year and should be a regular in the NHL in a few years.

Santini signed a three-year deal with the Devils, but will burn the first year of that contract this year by reporting immediately to the Devils.