GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — The University of North Dakota hockey team has lost a prized recruit to the Canadian major juniors.
The Grand Forks Herald reports that highly recruited forward Ryan Gropp has left the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League and signed with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League, making him ineligible for college hockey.
Gropp was expected to join UND next season.
Penticton general manager and coach Fred Harbinson says Gropp wanted a change of scenery because of early season struggles.
Gropp says in a statement that he's been thinking of joining the Thunderbirds for a while, and that the team is off to a good start and he wants to be a part of it.