The first early signing for the Big 10 is Minnesota defenseman Nate Schmidt, who signed a free-agent deal with the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.
Schmidt is an offensive defenseman who tallied 32 points in 40 games this season, while earning first-team all-WCHA honors.
Schmidt will have the first year of his contract burned this year.
Minnesota also will be watching Zach Budish (Nashville), Nick Bjugstad (Florida) and Erik Haula (Minnesota) to see if they sign early.
Big 10 early signings
Nate Schmidt, jr, D, Washington Capitals
NCHC early signings
Nebraska Omaha (1)
Andrej Sustr, jr, D, Tampa Bay Lightning
Minnesota Duluth (1)
Chris Casto, so, D, Minnesota Duluth
Western Michigan (1)
Danny DeKeyser, jr, D, Detroit Red Wings