UMass forward Mitchell Chaffee is forgoing his senior season, signing a two-year entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild, the organization announced Tuesday.
In 109 games for the Minutemen, Chaffee scored 47 goals and 48 assists. He leaves UMass tied for second in career game-winning goals (8), fourth in career plus-minus (+32), tied for ninth in career goals, tied for 11th (13) in power-play goals, and tied for 16th in career points.
Chaffee had a breakout sophomore season in 2018-19, when he helped the Minutemen win 31 games on their way to taking the Hockey East regular season title and reaching the NCAA title game. He recorded a team-high 18 goals to go with 24 assists en route to being named a first-team All-American.
Chaffee, who served as a co-captain for the Minutemen in 2019-20, finished second on the team in scoring this season with 29 points on 16 goals and 13 assists and was +16 over 30 games, including three power-play goals, one shorthanded goal, and three game winners. The Rockford, Mich., native registered 17 points over 20 Hockey East games on 11 goals and six assists, with all three of his game-winning goals coming during league play. The forward ranked 17th nationally in goals per-game (0.53) and tied for seventh in Hockey East in goal scoring overall and for game-winning goals.
He becomes the fifth player in head coach Greg Carvel’s UMass tenure to ink an NHL deal.
“Our entire UMass hockey program is excited for the opportunity in the NHL that Mitchell has earned,” Carvel said in a statement. “He has been on the forefront of the culture change within our program since the day he stepped on campus. His play on the ice, his success in the classroom, and his leadership amongst his peers have all been impressive to witness. Mitchell is a rare power forward who plays a heavy game and can score goals. He will be a great addition to the Minnesota Wild organization, and the UMass coaching staff is extremely proud!”
Chaffee wasn’t the only Minuteman on the move Tuesday. Senior defenseman Jake McLaughlin signed an AHL contract with the Vegas Golden Knights affiliate based in Henderson, Nev., for the 2020-21 season, the organization announced. He registered a career-high 14 points and tied a career-best three goals in 34 games for the Minutemen.
Our entire UMass hockey program is excited for the opportunity in the NHL that Mitchell has earned. He has been on the forefront of the culture change within our program since the day he stepped on campus. His play on the ice, his success in the classroom, and his leadership amongst his peers have all been impressive to witness.
A native of Hinsdale, Ill., McLaughlin finished fourth in the country in plus-minus at +27 and led a UMass defense that ranked sixth in the country in 2019-20, allowing just 1.97 goals per-game and a school-record low 67 goals.
“Jake proved this season that he is an NHL prospect, and I believe he has the ability to play in the NHL," said Carvel. "Jake was an elite defensive defenseman this year, but also has an offensive component to his game. He was one of the national leaders in plus-minus and was largely responsible for UMass hockey being one of the best defensive teams in the country. Our entire staff wishes Jake the best as he moves on to the professional ranks!”
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