Blue Jackets’ 2014 first-round pick Milano to play in OHL?
It looks like Sonny Milano will be headed to the junior hockey ranks rather than college. The 2014 first-round draft choice of the Columbus Blue Jackets (No. 16 overall) originally indicated that he would commit to Boston College for the upcoming season, which likely (but not definitely) would have meant that he’d be there for the next four years.
However, according to Rob Mixer, the digital content and community manager for the Blue Jackets, Milano will spend next year with the Plymouth Whalers:
#CBJ first rounder Sonny Milano (2014) has informed Boston College he will play for the Plymouth Whalers (OHL). More info to come.
— Rob Mixer (@RobMixer) August 17, 2014
Of course, the implication here is that Milano could be trying to fast-track the start of his professional career. His OHL obligations would end at age 20, allowing him to join the Springfield Falcons (Columbus’ American Hockey League affiliate) in 2016-17, or if he impresses enough in the next year, compete for a spot on the Blue Jackets roster next season (NHL/CHL agreements dictate that a player cannot be sent to the NHL minor leagues if they’re under 20 years of age and still have contractual obligations with a CHL- OHL, WHL, QMJHL- team).
Again, regarding Milano’s original intent to join Boston College, most college-committed prospects end up playing for a full four years in the collegiate ranks before joining the AHL or NHL. That’s not always the case, but Milano’s decision to join the OHL indicates that he’s trying to get into the pros sooner rather than later.
Milano is considered one of the Blue Jackets’ top prospects. He’s a smallish forward 6’0″, 183, but can still get bigger, and he already has outstanding puck skills and offensive ability. He projects as a top-six scoring winger.