After coming to Ann Arbor as one of the Wolverines’ most anticipated recruits in a long time, sophomore forward Robbie Czarnik left the Michigan hockey team on Monday.
Czarnik, a third-round pick to the L.A. Kings in 2008, recently signed with the Ontario Hockey League’s Plymouth Whalers and is expected to debut on Wednesday against the Windsor Spitfires.
According to Michigan coach Red Berenson, Czarnik was unhappy with his role on the team and never really overcame an emotionally taxing freshman season in which he only registered five goals and 16 total points. The Roseville native had three goals this season before leaving the team, including one in the Wolverines’ series split against Bowling Green last weekend.
The loss of Czarnik leaves an opening at forward that assistant coach Mel Pearson said could be filled by senior captain Chris Summers who has some experience at the position.
But the most damaging loss could be from a player who never even wore the Michigan uniform.
Top goaltending recruit Jack Campbell was expected to be one of the six commitments in the Wolverines’ 2010-11 recruiting class, but when the team released its list of new Wolverines, Campbell wasn’t on it.
Campbell’s decommitment comes as a surprise to some after he declared his loyalty to Michigan following the Wolverines’ exhibition win over his U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 team.
“(Michigan fans) want me here and I want to be here, so it should be a great fit,” Campbell said after the exhibition game in October. “But they haven’t seen the best of me yet, and hopefully I’ll be able to show them that soon.”
He is expected to turn pro and most likely will sign with the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires, leaving Michigan without a goaltending recruit in its 2010-11 class.