March 31st, 2011
by goon

You can keep up with all of the early departures here. Here is one of the bigger early departures, Merrimack College lost their top sophomore forward Stephane Da Coasta as he he will forego his final two seasons of eligibility and signed a entry level deal with the hapless last place Ottawa Senators.

Warrior Rink Rat — Merrimack sophomore Stephane Da Costa will forego his final two years of NCAA eligibility after signing a contract with the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, according to multiple sources.

The Parisian-born center scored 90 points in 67 games with Merrimack College from 2009-11.

Da Costa will become the first Merrimack player since Matt Foy in 2007-08 to play in the NHL.

Da Costa is expected to make his NHL debut on Saturday (7 p.m.) against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Ottawa.

The Denver Pioneers got some bad news of their own as they were informed that Sophomore defenseman Matt Donovan has signed an entry level deal with the New York Islanders.

NHL.COM —- On Wednesday morning, the New York Islanders signed yet another one of their 2008 draft selections to an entry-level contract. Matt Donovan, who spent the last two seasons defending the blue-line at the University of Denver, inked his deal.

“I’m very, very excited,” Donovan said when reached by phone. “I hope that I can play the same game that I’ve played my whole life, continue to play solid defensively and hopefully contribute offensively as well.”

While his entry-level deal will not kick in until the 2011-12 season, Donovan will report to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers immediately, where he will play the remainder of the 2010-11 season with the Islanders American Hockey League affiliate on an Amateur Tryout Contract.

“Starting now will just help me get my feet wet in my professional hockey career,” Donovan said. “It will help me figure out where I am and where need to be (talent and endurance wise), which will really help me figure out how hard I need to work this summer to make it to the Island.”

Read the full original article…

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