In what has got to be a major blow to the prestige of the DU Hockey program, the University of Denver has been rocked by a third player defection since Christmas.
Sophomore defenseman Keith Seabrook (Delta, British Columbia) has left DU to begin his professional career and forfeited his remaining three years of college hockey eligibility, DU head coach George Gwozdecky announced Monday. Seabrook has signed a major junior A contract with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League.
"Keith and his family felt the U.S. college hockey development model of practice and games combined with rigorous academics would not benefit his hockey career," Gwozdecky said. "Our development model has proven to be successful and rewarding, and we're looking forward to the 2007-08 season."
On facebook.com Seabrook called it a "hard decision to leave DU."
In May recruit Jason Gregoire reneged on his verbal commitment to DU and announced that he would attend the University of North Dakota in 2008. Over Christmas break T.J. Fast left DU at mid-season for the Tri-Cities Americans of the WHL.
Calgary Hitmen General Manager and Head Coach Kelly Kisio announced Seabrook's signing on the Hitmen's website.
“Keith is going to be a great addition to our defensive corps and we’re very excited to have him join our hockey team, said Kisio. “He’s a very good puck moving defenceman who is going to help our powerplay a great deal. Since we drafted Seabrook in 2003, we’ve kept him on our protected list always hoping this day would come.”