July 2, 2012 - 1:37am
BY MATT SLOVIN
The Michigan hockey team has lost a crucial part of its future blue line.
Incoming freshman defenseman Connor Carrick announced via Twitter on Friday morning that he will sign with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League, rather than begin his career as a Wolverine this fall.
“Excited to still pursue my degree while chasin my hockey dream playing for the Plymouth Whalers,” Carrick said on Twitter. “Decision wasn't easy, but its the right one.”
Carrick was recently selected by the Washington Capitals in the fifth round of the NHL Entry Draft. Earlier this week, Plymouth picked up Carrick's OHL rights via a trade with Guelph, stirring rumors that he may be considering signing with the Whalers.
Michigan will return six of its seven regular defensemen from last season in 2012-13. Greg Pateryn was the only graduating senior.
An OHL scout told the Daily that ice time would be the largest factor in Carrick’s decision, and it appears that the prospect felt he would receive more playing time in the OHL.
Michigan coach Red Berenson offered no comment on the third former United States National Team Development Program player to de-commit from Michigan.