Sunday, March 25, 2012

Torey Krug forgoes senior season, signs with Boston Bruins

In an unsurprising move, MSU hockey defenseman and captain Torey Krug announced Sunday he will skip his senior season after signing with the NHL's Boston Bruins.

The signing was first reported by the New England Hockey Journal.

"This obviously came quickly after our season ended, but it was a really difficult decision to make," Krug said in a release. "I love everything about Michigan State, my teammates, and our hockey program, and it was an outstanding place for me to grow and develop both as a hockey player and a person. It is very hard for me to leave, but I am incredibly thankful for the support shown to me by Coach Anastos as I went through this process. 

"I'm very proud to have worn a Michigan State jersey and serve as a captain. It's bittersweet, because we have worked hard to get MSU hockey back where we want it to be, challenging for conference and national championships."

As a junior this season, Krug finished with 12 goals and 22 assists and split the CCHA scoring title. He was later named CCHA Player of the Year and is a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. He also has been named the top offensive defenseman in the league the last two seasons. 

"I couldn't be happier for Torey. He's had an incredible season, an outstanding career at Michigan State and is ready to take the next step in his hockey career," head coach Tom Anastos said in the release. "While I know that we will certainly miss his talent and leadership next season, he will be back to complete his degree, and has left a lasting impression on his teammates that will most certainly continue to have a long term impact on our program."

Given the success Krug has had in recent seasons, it was not surprising an NHL team finally came calling. Anastos said about half of the NHL teams expressed "serious interest" in Krug. The defenseman's size has always been an issue with scouts, but his success on the ice made it impossible for teams to ignore him. It also made sense for Krug to leave whenever he could, because his stock couldn't get much higher as a prospect. 

Krug is the eighth player to leave MSU early for the pros since the end of the 2008 season, joining Derek Grant, Corey Tropp, Andrew Rowe, Jeff Petry, Justin Abdelkader, Mike Ratchuk and Tim Kennedy. A major reason Rick Comley's tenure at MSU ended with so many losses was because top players were leaving school early much more frequently than in the past. Krug said he will immediately get a chance to practice with the Bruins, instead of going directly to a minor league affiliate. 

With Krug's departure, MSU loses four defensemen from its regular lineup this season. Those spots will be filled by incoming recruits, current players and two transfers. I detailed this in an earlier post.

"There are so many people to thank," Krug said in the release. "To all of my teammates, our coaches and staff, the athletic department, and the university, thank you for making my three years as a part of this program such a special time in my life. I will always be a proud Spartan, and will do my best to represent Michigan State University in a way that you will all be proud."

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