Gregoire Turning Pro

Jason Gregoire has withdrawn from school and will sign an NHL contract this summer.

Because he’s four years removed from his draft year, Gregoire is allowed to take advantage of a loophole in the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement that allows him to withdraw and become a free agent if he’s not signed within 30 days by the team that drafted him.

Gregoire was drafted by the New York Islanders and said it’s very much a possibility that he will sign with them, but he’s keeping his options open and he’s looking to get more information.

Minnesota’s Blake Wheeler is the only other college player known to have taken advantage of this loophole. Most players aren’t able to do it, because they don’t play a year of juniors after they were drafted.

“I hold the Islanders in the highest regard,” Gregoire said. “In no way, shape or form have I ruled them out. I just don’t have all of the information right now to make a decision.

“I think very highly of them and they think the same of me. They know what’s going to happen as far as me keeping my options open. We’ll talk some more. If they are the best option, I will go with them.”

Gregoire scored 25 goals and had 43 points in 35 games. Only four other Sioux players have scored 25 goals in the Ralph Engelstad Arena era: Matt Frattin, Ryan Duncan, Zach Parise and Brandon Bochenski. All were Hobey finalists. Gregoire did it this season and missed seven games.

“Always a tough decision to leave a place you love,” Gregoire wrote on Twitter. “But I will never forget Grand Forks and the Sioux family. Thanks for a memorable three years.”

Gregoire is the second UND player to turn pro early this offseason, joining classmate Brett Hextall, who signed with the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Sioux will lose seven seniors, two NHL signings and two transfers from last year’s team. They aren’t expected to lose anyone else early this offseason.

11 Responses

  1. Irish

    I know he’s doing what he feels is best for him and I wish him luck in all he does, but this kinda sucks and he will be sorely missed next season.

  2. I was really hoping he’d stay but I can understand his leaving early too. I hope he lands in a good spot where he’s happy and that we’ll be able to see him play in the NHL next year. Thanks for all the great hockey moments and remember Grand Forks always welcomes former Sioux players so come back when you can.

  3. mathew McKay

    Who is the team on the ice in Sioux jerseys. If the school wants to change the logo do it now. There really is no longer a sioux hockey team from the past

  4. chad

    can we save the “it’s a tough decision” quotes from these kids that leave early. they know exactly what they are doing and if UND is such a great place then stay another year and the money will be there when you do turn pro, ala Frattin. It’s no different then when a person looks to change jobs, ther eis a reasont hey are leaving there current one. the only kids IMO that can say it is tough to leave are the ones that give the Sioux four years.

    1. SiouxperKev

      Ummm… its NOT a tough decision to leave after four years. You HAVE to leave. Players have to make decisions when you have options and leaving early is a very difficult option. I would assume especially from a great place like UND. I also wish Gregs would have stayed, but that’s for my own selfish reasons, but that has nothing to do with his decision.

      I hate when people say “the money will always be there” cause thats not the case. Two reasons: Look at what could have happened in Genoway’s situation. You take a hit to the head like he did and you may never play hockey again. Bang its over. Secondly, the money you dont take today is money you will never receive. You can never get that back if you sign a year later. Its gone. Yes there’s money to be made later, but you still left money on the table. I don’t begrudge any athlete for leaving early. They have to make a living too. If someone offered me $500K to be an accountant after my junior year, damn straight I would have taken it. If you say you wouldn’t, you are lying. Granted some players are ready to go pro and some are not and they would stand to gain more by waiting, but that’s another issue. I dont think that applies to Gregs.

  5. Sioux in Denver

    Ugh! I always remember him looking into the crowd after the game is over, assuming to his parents, and then giving them a little wave and look from the net area. I noticed that a lot when watching the games on the FightingSioux website. I wish him the best of luck reaching the NHL. Next’s years team will be full of new names.

  6. Trickey7

    Tough one to lose early but totally understandable. Good luck Jason and thanks for the years and UND. Best of Luck!

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