The big news of the day is that the number one pick in this summer's NHL draft, Erik, Johnson, will play for Minnesota next season, rather than signing with the St. Louis Blues.
I don't think it's a terrible decision for either Johnson, or the Blues. Some people are saying Johnson is risking getting injured before signing a contract, but I think that's way overblown. Johnson will get an extra year of development before jumping to the NHL, and the Blues get an extra year before Johnson's first contract expires and he becomes a free agent. The only problem for Johnson will be the tremendous pressure he'll face next season. He's in a position, much like Phil Kessel last year, where he could have a very good season, and it still won't be good enough for some people. When he goes to the World Juniors next year, people are going to expect him to single-handedly win the gold medal for the US people are going to say he underperformed.
The Scouting News is reporting that the NTDP has added 5 more players to their roster for next season, after the Select 16 Festival in Rochester. Those players are:
Ryan Grimshaw, a 2008 recruit from New York that is a physical defensive defenseman.
Pat Gaul, a 2008 forward recruit from Pittsburgh
Sam Lofquist, a defenseman from Shattuck-St. Mary's
Danny Kristo, a 2009 forward recruit from Eden Prairie HS in Minnesota
Nick Maricic, a 2008 goalie recruit from the California Wave program
Grant Standbrook, an assistant coach for Maine, has retired. Standbrook was arguably one of the best assistants in all of college hockey. Before working at Maine, he spent 12 years as an assistant at Wisconsin. He was known as one of the best recruiters in college hockey.
A number of former college players are signing NHL contracts in the NHL's free agent frenzy. One of interest is that former Hobey Baker winner Marty Sertich will sign with the Dallas Stars. Hopefully it works out better for the Stars than the last Hobey Baker winning free agent the Stars signed, Junior Lessard.