After a disappointing game against Boston College, the UMD Bulldogs must now replace their top goal scorer.  It's fantastic news for J.T. Brown and is a tribute to his success with the Bulldogs.  That's part of being a successful hockey program and UMD is always building, but the team will miss him in the short term.

Minnesota Duluth sophomore winger J.T. Brown, regarded as the top NHL free-agent prospect in Division I this season, gave up his final two years of eligibility Wednesday, signing a two-year, entry-level contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

He’s expected to be in uniform sometime this week with the Lightning, who are at New Jersey today and home against Winnipeg on Saturday.

Brown, 21, of Burnsville, Minn., agreed to a contract worth $832,500 if playing in the NHL and $70,000 in the minor leagues, plus a $92,500 signing bonus each year. He will make about $5,000 per day the rest of the NHL regular season, which will count as the first year of his contract, but isn’t eligible for the league playoffs. The Lightning have six regular-season games remaining.

“It came down to having the right opportunity and the right fit with the right team,” Brown said from Chicago, where he had met with a handful of teams Wednesday. “This was not an easy decision to leave UMD, with all the success we’ve had, and all that I learned in two years from our coaching staff, and all of the great friendships I made.”

Brown, 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, led UMD in goal scoring this season with 24 and was third in total points with 47 in 39 games. He also led UMD in shots on goal, penalties and plus-minus. In two seasons, he had 40 goals and 44 assists for 84 points in 80 games.

via J.T. Brown leaves Minnesota Duluth for NHL | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota.