Junior forward Angus Crookshank has decided to forgo his final year of eligibility and sign a three-year entry-level contract with the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League (NHL). The contract is set to start for the 2021-22 season but Crookshank can hop right into team activities once he’s cleared quarantine because he also signed an amateur tryout agreement and will report to the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Belleville Senators. Crookshank was selected by Ottawa in the fifth round of the 2018 NHL Draft.  

“On behalf of UNH Hockey I want to congratulate Angus,” said UNH head coach Mike Souza in a press release on Wednesday. He added “The Senators are getting a player that has an unrivaled desire to be an NHL player. Angus has been tremendous ambassador both on and off the ice here at UNH and we are excited to have a played a part in his development.”  

Crookshank enjoyed a solid career at UNH tallying 35 goals and 28 assists for 63 points in more than 90 games. He was second in the nation with his four overtime goals during his time in Durham. He was also named a Hockey East Third-Team All-Star for the first time in his career. Crookshank tied for first on the team in goals with nine and was tied for second in points with 18.  

In an interview Thursday morning with “In the Box” on TSN 1200 Crookshank explained how excited he was to get things going.  

“I’m excited as ever. It’s a dream when you’re a little kid to play pro hockey,” Crookshank explained. “The work isn’t done; I still have a whole lot I have to learn but it’s a good first step for sure.”  

He also thanked UNH and the coaching staff in the interview.  

“I can’t thank the coaching staff enough. Coach Souza, coach Stewart and coach Giuliano did an excellent job preparing me for the pro game and improving my 200-foot game.”  

Crookshank joins an extensive list of Wildcats who have signed professional contracts. Over 250 players have gone onto play professional hockey in the history of the program. He is the seventh player in Souza’s first three years as head coach to sign a professional contract and the second to ink an NHL deal. There are five former Wildcats currently in the NHL: James van Riemsdyk, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Casey Desmith, Brett Pesce and Warren Foegele.  

Crookshank began his quarantine on Thursday morning when he arrived in Ottawa at 8 a.m. He must quarantine for two weeks and test negative before joining the team and possibly cracking the lineup.  

It seems like Crookshank should fit right in with Ottawa after taking a jab at his division rival. 

“My dad’s happy it’s a Canadian team and he’s happy it’s Ottawa and not Toronto.”  

Photo courtesy of Meghan Murphy.