Blue Jackets prospect Milano explains decision to pull out of Boston College commitment

by Aug 18, 8:59 AM

Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Sonny Milano - drafted 16th overall at the 2014 NHL Draft in June - explained his decision to forgo a commitment to Boston College and take his talents to the OHL's Plymouth Whalers in a statement issued through agent Rich Evans.

Here's Milano's statement, as per Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Post-Dispatch:

Since being drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets at the NHL Draft in Philadelphia on June 27, I have been asked many times about whether I would continue with my plans to attend Boston College, or play junior hockey instead. In an effort to avoid controversy and further questions on the subject, I responded that I was looking forward to attending BC in the Fall. While I have had every intention of playing for Coach (Jerry) York and joining the best college hockey program in the country, since the end of my hockey season at the USNDTP I have been questioning whether going to school was the best situation for me.

Perhaps I should have acknowledged my growing indecision when asked about my plans, but it was difficult to explain to those who were asking when I did not even know myself what I wanted to do. After a great deal of thought and discussion with my family, I have spoken with Coach York and informed him that I will be playing for the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers this season.

I think that BC is the best choice for those players who wish to go to school and play hockey. Every player’s path to achieving his goal of playing in the NHL is different, and the best route for some is not necessarily the best route for others. For me, the opportunity to play in the OHL is the right decision.

With Plymouth - a well-respected OHL club that has featured the likes of Tyler Seguin, Justin Williams, James Neal and Tom Wilson in recent years - Milano will have the opportunity to play almost twice as many games as he would have in the NCAA. 

Perhaps more importantly, the 18-year-old is now free to sign an entry-level deal with the Blue Jackets (with a nice signing bonus to boot), as well as attend the club's prospects camp in Traverse City, Mich., and his first NHL training camp in September.

Milano spent the past two seasons playing for the U.S. National Development Team.

Sep 16, 10:59 AM

Blue Jackets' Milano on injury: 'It's feeling like it's only going to be a couple of weeks'

by Sep 16, 10:59 AM

Sonny Milano's first taste of the professional brand - the boards - probably wasn't what he had in mind when he pulled out of his scholarship at Boston College. 

The Columbus Blue Jackets prospect was projected to miss about eight weeks after suffering two facial fractures going face-first into the boards last Thursday, but said Monday he's feeling much better.

"I feel like I could play pretty soon," Milano told the Columbus Dispatch. "That’s not going to happen, but it’s feeling like it’s only going to be a couple of weeks."

Milano will have further examination this week before the Jackets determine the most suitable course of action for his recovery.

Feature photo courtesy of Bill Streicher / US Presswire

Sep 13, 11:08 PM

Report: Blue Jackets' Sonny Milano could miss 8 weeks due to facial factures

by Sep 13, 11:08 PM

Initial reports surrounding the facial injury suffered by Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Sonny Milano are not optimistic.

Milano could miss as many as eight weeks recovering from a fractured orbital bone and fractured cheek, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, who cites Plymouth Whalers director of U.S. scouting Don Harkins.

The team appears hopeful Milano's recovery time is closer to two weeks.

Sep 13, 9:04 PM

Facial injury knocks Blue Jackets' Sonny Milano out of rookie tournament

by Sep 13, 9:04 PM

The Columbus Blue Jackets will have to wait a little longer to get a good look at Sonny Milano.

Milano was forced to leave Friday's Traverse City Prospects Tournament game between Columbus and the Minnesota Wild after being pushed face-first into the boards during the first period. Blue Jackets president John Davidson confirmed Milano would miss the rest of the tournament on Saturday.

"It’s a very minor, small fracture which is good news," Davidson told BlueJackets.com. "There is no surgery required for him. When you think of a time frame, it’s really hard to tell. He will miss a little bit of time, but not a lot of time - it all depends on how it heals."

Milano will remain with the team and travel back to Columbus after the tournament to be assessed by team doctors.

"He’s out of the tournament and we don’t know anything beyond that," Davidson said. "I don’t want to jump to any conclusions because we just don’t know. He’ll stay with us here but he won’t be playing."

Sep 11, 10:54 AM

Blue Jackets announce signing of Sonny Milano to 3-year entry-level contract

by Sep 11, 10:54 AM

U.S. National standout Sonny Milano has agreed to terms with the Columbus Blue Jackets on a three-year, entry-level deal, the team announced Thursday. 

“Milano is a skilled, dynamic player and we’re very happy to add him to the exciting group of prospects within our organization,” general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said via the team's official website

“We are looking forward to watching his development and helping him grow both on and off the ice in the years to come.”

Milano, the 16th-overall selection in June's draft, became eligible to sign a pro deal when he pulled out of his scholarship agreement with Boston College last month. 

Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Aug 26, 2:33 PM

Blue Jackets, Milano not discussing entry-level contract

by Aug 26, 2:33 PM

When Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Sonny Milano decided to eschew his commitment to Boston College in lieu of the OHL's Plymouth Whalers, the assumption was the 18-year-old would soon sign his entry-level deal with the NHL club.

Tap the brakes on that speculation, as Milano says he has yet to be approached with an offer.

"Maybe a strong start or a strong season will get me that contract, but there hasn't been any talks yet,” Milano confirmed, via MiHockeyNow.com.

Milano was drafted in the fourth round (81st overall) of the 2012 OHL draft by Plymouth, who no doubt waited until later in the proceedings based on the assumption he'd be heading to college.

The Blue Jackets selected Milano 16th overall at the 2014 NHL Draft, and don't appear to be in a hurry to expose him to the pro game.

Aug 21, 2:43 PM

Blue Jackets prospect Milano officially commits to OHL's Whalers

by Aug 21, 2:43 PM

The Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League officially announced Thursday the commitment of Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Sonny Milano. As a result, the 18-year-old abandoned a prior pledge to Boston College.

"We are very pleased to have a player of this caliber joining our organization," Whalers general manager Mark Craig said. "My understanding is he lives for hockey and will bring a work ethic to our team that will force our players to a new level."

Milano will represent Columbus at the NHL Prospects tournament, which runs Sept. 12-16 in Traverse City, Mich. 

He'll presumably attend the club's training camp later that month, but Whalers head coach Don Elland is planning for a season with Milano on his roster: "We're very happy to have Sonny in Plymouth. He has the potential and ability to become a great player for us. Sonny's an exciting talent that will make our program stronger."

Milano is also expected to play for Team USA at the 2015 World Junior Championships.

Aug 18, 11:59 AM

Blue Jackets GM on Milano's decision to play in OHL: 'We left it up to the player and his family'

by Aug 18, 11:59 AM

In light of Blue Jackets prospect Sonny Milano's decision to play for the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers instead of honoring a commitment with Boston College, general manager Jarmo Kekalainen issued a statement Monday affirming the NHL club did not influence the 18-year-old's decision.

As such, it's apparent that Milano's decision was based more on the ability to develop his game in the Canadian Hockey League as opposed to the NCAA, and not necessarily driven by a desire to put pen to paper on his first pro contract.

Aug 17, 9:38 AM

Blue Jackets' Milano pulls out of Boston College commitment; will play for OHL's Plymouth Whalers

by Aug 17, 9:38 AM

Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Sonny Milano changed his mind on that whole college thing. 

Milano, the wildly-skilled 16th-overall pick in June's draft, has pulled out of his commitment to Boston College with the intention of signing a pro deal. 

He will play for the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers next season, where his work-load (on the ice - not in the classroom) will be far greater than in Division I and he will be afforded the opportunity to attend Jackets' camp. 

Columbus will now work toward signing Milano to an entry-level contract. 

Aug 4, 10:21 PM

Blue Jackets' Sonny Milano on college commitment: 'It's the best way to get to the NHL'

by Aug 4, 10:21 PM

Columbus Blue Jackets first-round draft pick Sonny Milano ended any speculation he would play in the OHL on Monday by confirming he will attend Boston College.

Milano committed to Boston College prior to the draft in June, but rumors suggested he would forgo the NCAA to join the Plymouth Whalers, who own his OHL rights. Milano shrugged that off as hot air.

"A lot of people talk, I guess," Milano said. "I was on campus two weeks ago for orientation. I keep in touch with all the [hockey] staff."

Milano considered both options extensively and believes college will prove a more fruitful path for his career.

"Less games gives you more time to work out," he said. "You're playing against older guys. Just BC as well. It's one of the better colleges in history, Jerry York is as great coach, he knows what he's doing. It's the best way to get to the NHL."