One of the worst-kept secrets in college hockey once Ohio State head coach Mark Osiecki was fired was that the Buckeyes' star recruit, Zach Stepan was interested in playing his college hockey elsewhere. Today, USHR reported that Stepan will no longer play at Ohio State, and will instead enroll at Minnesota State next season.
Stepan was a third round draft choice of the Nashville Predators in the 2012 NHL Draft, and this past season, while playing with the USHL's Waterloo Blackhawks, he recorded 32 goals and 46 assists to finish third in league scoring behind linemates Taylor Cammarata and Justin Kloos.
Complicating issues with Stepan's departure from the Buckeyes was that Stepan had signed his National Letter of Intent with Ohio State last November, meaning Stepan had to be released by the school in order to play college hockey elsewhere next season. The Buckeyes were rumored to place conditions on that release, including that he not sign with another school within in the Big Ten conference. Minnesota State offers Stepan a chance to play close to home and play with former teammate and good friend Teddy Blueger for a program that seems poised to compete at the top of their new conference.