On Wednesday afternoon reports were made that University of Michigan Hockey standout Tyler Motte would forgo his Senior year and sign with the Chicago Blackhawks. A fourth-round pick in 2013 by the Blackhawks, Motte has played in 107 games with Michigan and has scored 105 points (50 Goals, 55 Assists) in his three with the Wolverines.
Motte reportedly to sign with Chicago
The initial report of Motte leaving Michigan came from Jason Rubinstein of the Michigan Daily:
It’s unclear at the time if Motte will sign with Chicago and have an opportunity to join the Blackhawks before the end of the regular season, but according to Elliotte Friedman of SportsNet, Motte could make his professional debut elsewhere:
Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times echoes the same situation for Motte to sign with the Blackhawks:
Whether or not Motte joins the Blackhawks for the Stanley Cup Playoffs or joins the Rockford IceHogs for their Calder Cup Playoff run, getting professional experience for Motte as soon as possible can only benefit him.
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The 21-year-old Motte, finished his Junior year with 56 points (32 Goals, 24 Assists) in 38 games. He was third in the NCAA in points, behind his two linemates, Kyle Connor and J.T. Compher. Motte was also a top-10 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to the NCAA’s top College Hockey player.
Motte was selected by the Blackhawks 121st overall in the 2013 draft, and joins fellow 2013 draftees Ryan Hartman and Robin Norell to sign with the Blackhawks. He also joins fellow and former Blackhawks Vinny Hinostroza, Dylan Olsen, Adam Clendening, and Nick Leddy as draft picks to leave school early to sign with Chicago over the last six years.
Motte is a smaller-sized, effort-based forward. His offensive game is not flashy, but he works well with his linemates and knows where to go to score. He projects to fit into a second or third-line role with the Blackhawks in the future and could be a factor in the special teams group for Chicago.