A.J. Jenks, along with teammate Robbie Czarnik, was the first player to commit to a college for the class of 2008, when he committed to Michigan late last summer. It was thought that Michigan's early commitment would help keep the talented Jenks away from the OHL. That move seemed to have worked, as Jenks was taken in a later round of the OHL draft. But ultimately, Jenks decided this week to sign with the Plymouth Whalers.
The loss leaves a big hole in Michigan's 2008 recruiting class. Michigan already had one of the top recruiting class for 2008 locked up with 3 forwards committed to play for the NTDP next season, but Jenks will be difficult to replace. There isn't really another top prospect from the state of Michigan that would be interested in playing for Michigan. Luckily, the Wolverines have some time to scour the US and Canada to find a replacement.
Jenks departure also leaves another spot open on the NTDP team. He's the second player to accept a bid to the team, before bolting to the OHL, after defenseman Zach Bogosian did so earlier this summer. My pick for a replacement would be Little Falls(MN) High School forward Ben Hanowski. Hanowski is almost as big as Jenks, and has incredible hands for someone his size. I think he'd be a more than suitable replacement.