RIT junior forward Tyler Brenner is the third player since the program moved to Division I in 2005 to leave school early and sign a professional contract as he signed a two-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.
Brenner was seventh nationally with 26 goals and added 15 assists for 41 points in 37 games this season. Brenner led the Tigers with 11 power-play goals and three game-winning tallies. The 26 goals were one shy of the single-season program record.
On March 12, he became the fifth player since RIT moved to Division I to record his 100th career point in a 5-1 win over American International.
Brenner scored RIT’s lone goal in the Frozen Four loss to Wisconsin a year ago.
In 2008-09, Brenner was third among all Division I rookies with 35 points and was named to the AHA All-Rookie Team and won the Craig Lauzon Award as RIT’s top rookie.
Brenner finished his collegiate career tied for the all-time lead at the Division I level with 55 goals, while adding 47 assists for 102 points in 108 games. His 13 game-winning goals are the most in the Division I era.
“It is an exciting time for Tyler,” said RIT head coach Wayne Wilson in a statement. “He has worked extremely hard over the past three years to reach his goal of playing in the NHL. Tyler has made a great impact on our program and we are glad to be a contributing factor in his development. Getting his degree and now signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs is a real credit to him and his family and a dream come true.”
Brenner joins Steve Pinizzotto and Chris Tanev as Tigers to forego eligibility to sign a contract with a NHL team. Pinizzotto signed a contract with the Washington Capitals in March 2007 and Tanev signed with the Vancouver Canucks last June.