Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Minnesota's O'Brien rumored to be signing with Ottawa

Minnesota sophomore Jimmy O'Brien, a first round pick by the Ottawa Senators in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, is leaning toward leaving the Gopher program, according to an article in today's edition of The Ottawa Citizen.

From the article:

Look for Ottawa's top 2007 draft pick, Jim O'Brien, to sign with the Senators and forego the balance of his college career. O'Brien, a 6-2 centre drafted 29th overall, was the youngest player in college hockey last season, as a 17-year-old with the University of Minnesota. A source says O'Brien, now 18, is leaning toward turning professional.

WCHA Blog's Take: O'Brien was the youngest player in college hockey last year, and played most of his minutes as the Gophers' fourth line center. This year, he was slated to shift back to defense, a position he has played in the past.

While this wouldn't be a crushing blow to the Gophers, it's an odd move by O'Brien if it comes to fruition. He's obviously no where near ready to play in the NHL or AHL, so he would likely play major junior hockey in Canada.