Long-time Windsor Star journalist Bob Duff wrote a story today on Michigan recruit Evan Allen and Denver recruit Will Butcher, both of the US NTDP U18 team. The two teammates both have their OHL rights held by the Windsor Spitfires, and Spitfire management was keeping a close eye on both last week at the Four Nations tournament in Ann Arbor.
For their part, both players seem to be keeping their options open. Allen told Duff: "I’m committed to the University of Michigan, but I don’t know definitely right now. College is still my No. 1 option, but also, the Windsor Spitfires are there."
Allen and Butcher are both looking like mid-round NHL Draft picks in this summer's NHL Draft. Where they are picked, and who they get picked by could play a factor in their decision between the NCAA and CHL.
There is the factor that the players are speaking to a Windsor newspaper, so there's a certain inclination to say what that audience wants to hear. There's also really nothing to gain for those players by completely closing that option. But it is a reminder that it could be another long and difficult summer for college hockey fans dealing with CHL defections.