Summer is cruel.
It's been a tough summer for the WCHA. The league has already lost 11 players this offseason to the pros, and it looks as though they're not done yet.
The hardest hit has been North Dakota, who has lost 5 players early, followed by Minnesota who has lost 3, and could lose a fourth if Phil Kessel signs with the Boston Bruins.
Surprisingly, the next hardest hit team is Minnesota State Mankato. Usually 7th place teams don't lose a lot of players to the pros, but that's what has been happening to the Mavericks. It started right after the season when David Backes signed with the St. Louis Blues. That move wasn't surprising. Backes will likely be playing for the Blues next season. Then, last week, Kyle Peto, one of the WCHA's leading scorers among defenseman, signed a pro contract in Finland. Now, forward Ryan Carter, an undrafted free agent, will sign a professional contract with the Anaheim Might Ducks.
The Wisconsin Badgers lost forward Robbie Earl shortly after winning the national championship. The Badgers thought they would be relatively safe from defections after Earl. They even got some good news that goalie Brian Elliott will be staying for his senior year instead of signing with Ottawa. But it now looks as though Joe Pavelski will sign with San Jose. Coach Mike Eaves referred to Pavelski's departure as a "kick in the stomach".
Wisconsin was also confident in forward Jack Skille returning for his sophomore season, but Skille has been one of the leading scorers at the Blackhawks Prospect Camp this past week, leading some to believe that the 'Hawks might make him an offer.
Finally, Colorado College hasn't lost any underclassmen to the pros, but they did lose high scoring seniors Brett Sterling and Marty Sertich. They could also lose defenseman Brian Salcido this summer. Someone on the Hockey's Future message boards posted an email from Salcido in which he basically says he'll do whatever the Ducks want him to do next season, which would likely mean turning pro.