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Blue Jackets first-rounder Milano opts for OHL over Boston College

Aug 16, 2014, 8:31 PM EDT

Sonny Milano AP

Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Sonny Milano informed Boston College that he’s decided to play for the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers instead next season, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch and Rob Mixer of the Blue Jackets’ website.

The Blue Jackets selected Milano with the 16th overall pick of the 2014 NHL Draft. Portzline wonders if the team steered the 18-year-old toward the OHL path, even if they denied doing so. (GM Jarmo Kekalainen said he’d leave that decision to Milano and his family earlier this summer, according to Portzline.)

Either way, Portzline points out some of the perks that come with going this route:

Plymouth is one of Canada’s well-respected major-junior programs. He’ll play nearly twice as many games in major-junior as he would at Boston College, and he can sign an entry-level contract with the Blue Jackets – along with a healthy signing bonus — without having to worry about his NCAA eligibility.

Milano can also get his feet wet at Blue Jackets training camp if the team decides to go that direction.

Obviously there are advantages to considering the NCAA option as well, but Milano decided to go down a different road.

  1. esracerx46 - Aug 16, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    With this news I’d like to see Ryan Hartman play with Milano. Finally giving Hartman a linemate with some skill

  2. roblo76 - Aug 16, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    He should talk to Louis LeBlanc. Gave away a free ride at Harvard to join the Quebec league, now just a few short years later looks like a journeyman AHL’er / roster filler. Oops.

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Aug 16, 2014 at 11:28 PM

      Good point. Education shouldn’t be overlooked especially when it comes for $0.00.

    • esracerx46 - Aug 16, 2014 at 11:54 PM

      I’m sure the kid knows the risks of not going to school. If LeBlanc goes to school, he doesn’t make the money he’s made. Going to the QMJHL didn’t stunt his development. Going to Harvard wouldn’t have made him a better hockey player. His values are different than yours. I know lots of successful people that never went to school, myself included. Getting an education is no guarantee of prosperity. LeBlanc can always go back to school with the money he has made playing hockey if he chooses. Its his decision, let him and his family make it. Don’t thumb your nose at him, me, or anyone else that chooses to forego school. Its not for everyone. I just turned 25. I have zero debt. Own 1 home that’s paid for, and currently building a new one. I think I made the right choice, for me.

      • libeccim - Aug 17, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        Yeah education may not be a guarantee of prosperity but it sure as hell helps.

    • cliffatola - Aug 17, 2014 at 2:26 AM

      Actually playing for Plymouth will get him money to pay for an education if his NHL dreams don’t pan out. So at his age he could play 2 junior seasons and possibly one more as overage so 3 seasons total. If he doesn’t go on to play professionally that would get him 3 years of college payed for.

      • cliffatola - Aug 17, 2014 at 2:27 AM

        I meant “paid” for.

  3. djshnooks - Aug 16, 2014 at 10:52 PM

    What kind of American kid does that?

    That’s insane, I’m sorry…if there’s one thing in The States that little kids dream of doing (besides pro sports), it’s playing their respective sport at the D-1 college level.

    There is nothing like it in sports, IMO…I love it because they’re not playing for money. The competition is amazing. I can’t believe he by-passed the opportunity.

    Oh well, best of luck to the kid.

    • esracerx46 - Aug 16, 2014 at 11:43 PM

      Your opinion is just that. An opinion. Don’t chastise the kid for making a business decision. While you put D-1 sports up on a pedestal, a lot of kids don’t. I’m one of them. I have no allegiance to any school. So I’ve never been able to get into college sports. Plus, you have to realize that while he’s still going to school in Plymouth, it won’t be as intense as it would be at BC. Next time you express an opinion, try not to generalize Americas youth into one category just because it was your dream to play D-1 sports.

      Also, it has been reported that he has signed his ELC. If he gets injured while at BC and id a flop as a prospect he gets nothing later. If he signs now, he gets the same number he would get if he is offered a contract 4 years from now. I sure has hell wouldn’t play a game for free while studying my ass off, when I could be making a possible million dollars in a year. Try and grasp the business side of hockey. Its an unfortunate but necessary evil that will give you a more informed perspective on why people do things that you may not agree with.

    • esracerx46 - Aug 16, 2014 at 11:57 PM

      And did you just call the kid un-American for choosing to play junior hockey rather than play at BC? That’s a bit of a stretch. I know its an implication on my part, but still. Wow

    • cliffatola - Aug 17, 2014 at 2:33 AM

      If it was such a dream to play D1 Hockey, I would have thought he would have committed to a school from New York instead Massachusetts.

    • desertfan - Aug 17, 2014 at 6:09 AM

      99% of the Athletes in NCAA cannot spell their own names!!

      100% will not get any better after 1,2,3,4 years in NCAA schools.

      Great record and great program guys!!!

  4. dutchman1350 - Aug 17, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    If Sonny achieves his goals, it doesn’t matter what he does first. Set some money aside, for a post hockey education with his first couple contracts.

    I love college hockey, however many more will choose this same course, as USA hockey is growing.

  5. djshnooks - Aug 17, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    I’m 31 years old and have coached sports for the better part of a decade.

    The majority of kids, who have a brain, can afford it or actually excel at sports, dream of playing division-1 major college sports.

    If you don’t or didn’t, then obviously you were never good enough to begin with, never had the grades, or couldn’t afford it.

    And If you knew anything, Boston College hockey is no joke…it’s an elite program.

    You’re ignorance shined brightly, kiddo.

    • esracerx46 - Aug 17, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      I was a state champion wrestler in junior high, and placed in state in high school. I was good enough. I graduated high school a semester early so grades weren’t an issue either. I had the opportunity to go to school. I was tired of subjecting my body to what it takes to succeed on the mat. My sister is currently a senior at Illinois. So money wasn’t an issue either. I’m not stupid. I know the successes of BC hockey. Its part of the reason his first 2 years he was a 3rd and 4th line player.

      Kids want to play professionally. Playing collegiately is typically the only route to the pro’s.

  6. djshnooks - Aug 17, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    I call tell you didn’t go to school, lol.

    And Leblanc? Sounds french-Canadian to me, why would he care about d-1 sports?

    • cliffatola - Aug 17, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      Boston College is definitely an elite program in the NCAA Hockey world but it isn’t always going to be the best route to a professional career if that is a players intention. The CHL portrays more accurately how a professional life is going to be, that means more games, more practice and more development help from the teams that drafted the player respectively which they cannot get while on a campus. Sonny Milano most likely grew up wanting to be a professional in the sport not a college athlete, if he feels this is the best route to do that then so be it but putting him down for making that choice makes no sense. With the state of the economy in the United States and all of the college graduates looking for jobs can you honestly say that it is the better route right now ? As a hockey player he would likely have a much better network to pull from looking for a job after school if turning pro isn’t an option but even that isn’t a guarantee. If the college experience is so great and Boston College is so great then why is it that Kevin Hayes got kicked off the team his junior year for taking a dump in a stairwell while intoxicated ?

  7. pavelfitzgerald - Aug 17, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    BC is elite for the NCAA but that is like being the smart kid on the short bus; the difference between juniors & NCAA is immense. The NCAA took a step up over the last 15 years but don’t kid yourself, there is still a significant talent gap

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