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North Dakota's Keaton Thompson Signs with Anaheim Ducks

Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

North Dakota junior defenseman Keaton Thompson has signed an entry-level contract with the Anaheim Ducks, forgoing his final year of eligibility. The Ducks selected Thompson in the third round, 87th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft.

Primarily a defensive defenseman, Thompson had a 2-15-17 scoring line in 43 games for the national champion Fighting Hawks this season. We ranked Thompson as the 88th-best NHL prospect in the NCAA this past season:

Thompson is over-shadowed by some of the more dynamic talents on North Dakota's blue line, but he's a reliable defender that would see a lot of minutes on nearly any other team. Thompson is a defensive defenseman who lacks high-end puck-handling abilities, but could fill a role as a depth defenseman at the NHL level.

Thompson is the second North Dakota defenseman to leave early, joining teammate Troy Stecher, who signed with Vancouver. Gage Ausmus has confirmed he will return to North Dakota, while Paul LaDue and Tucker Poolman have not yet made a decision.