Monday, August 13, 2007

O'Brien Signs with Ottawa

Minnesota sophomore-to-be forward/defenseman Jimmy O'Brien has signed with Ottawa and will fore-go his final three years at Minnesota.

O'Brien's story is certainly an interesting one. Despite being a native-Minnesotan, he chose to play bantam hockey for the Little Caesar's AAA program in Detroit before being selected for the US NTDP program. During his college recruitment, there were rumors of some teams questioning how O'Brien's personality would mesh with his teammates. O'Brien chose to play for Minnesota, and it was decided that he would join the Gophers in 2006, a year earlier than the rest of his class.

O'Brien was the youngest player in college hockey last season and has mixed results. He showed flashes of incredible talent, but because of his youth and lack of physical maturity, he was mostly resigned to the lower lines and didn't see much ice time in key situations. He finished the year with 7 goals and 8 assists in 43 games.

It was announced earlier this summer that O'Brien would be moving back to defense to add to the Gophers depth at that position. He had played a good deal of defense when he was younger. In June, he was drafted 29th overall by the Ottawa Senators.

Last week, a "source" told the Ottawa Citizen that O'Brien was close to signing with the Senators. Minnesota head coach Don Lucia called O'Brien, Lucia told the Star-Tribune the next day that there was no truth to that story. Furthermore, Sid Hartman reported that Lucia spoke face-to-face with O'Brien and said there was no truth to the story.

Minnesota had already lost defenseman Erik Johnson and Alex Goligoski to the professional ranks, and O'Brien was going to be expected to shoulder some of the load on the blueline. Minnesota should feel some affect, but they should also have enough talent that this loss shouldn't hurt them too much.

17 comments:

Brad said...

Seems like a bad move development-wise.

Anonymous said...

Good move taking the money while still healthy. These top end kids are playing to sign a contract. Ottawa will find a place for him in OHL or QMJHL, which will quicken his development must faster then College hockey.

Anonymous said...

Further proof that Sid Hartman's close, personal friends don't always know what they are talking about.

Loren from Fargo

444 said...

Sorry but I have to disagree.

444 said...

My last comments were in regards to anonymous number 1.

Anonymous said...

It won't necessarily quicken his development.
He could just end up with fatter stats by playing in the CHL but not be as good a hockey player.

Anonymous said...

55% of the NHL is from Major A.

So don't knock it.

Good for Jimmy.

Anonymous said...

Did it not used to be 100% ?

Runninwiththedogs said...

Can't people at least sign a fake name? Too many anonymuses (anonymi?).

Anonymous said...

The Story on the wire is he signed with a WHL team not the Senators.

Anonymous said...

Probably another example of a sub par student and hockey greed! or should I say hockey whore who is manipulated by agents, parents and all the other dopes. real legacy there for Minnie kids!

Anonymous said...

O'Brien played Midget Major for Little Caesars, not Bantam. He was an underager though.

Anonymous said...

Seattle Thunderbirds

http://www.chlnews.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

who is tDon going to get to play D? Oh, never mind...D is not "exciting" hockey and the goofs will just score 8 or 9 every night to win.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy has signed with Ottawa.

He will be going to school at Univ of Washington for the next 2 yrs. School is 100% free for him.

Its a win, win for him.

Oh ya Coach Lucia held him out of going to the tryouts for the World Jr Team last month.

Anonymous said...

Isn't O'Brien rehabbing his shoulder? Which is probably why he wasn't at the World Jrs.

Anonymous said...

More proof that Don Lucia is HATED by most of his players. I wish Lucia would retire. Good Luck to Mr. O'Brien.