UVM Loses Leading Scorer to Pros

Patrick Sharp, Vermont’s leading scorer as a sophomore last season, has signed a professional contract with the Philadelphia Flyers and will forego his final two years of collegiate eligibility.

Sharp, Philadelphia’s second pick overall in the 2001 NHL Draft, led the Catamounts in scoring last season with 13 goals and 13 assists for 26 points in 31 games. In 65 career games at Vermont, the Thunder Bay, Ont. native had 25 goals and 28 assists for 53 points.

“We are all very excited for Patrick as he accepts this new challenge,” Vermont coach Mike Gilligan said. “We have been preparing for the possibility of him turning pro, and we are very happy for him. We wish him the best of luck, and look forward to seeing him play in the NHL in the near future.”

Sharp, 20, said it was a tough decision for him and his family.

“This has been a very difficult decision,” he said. “Everyone associated with the hockey program here at UVM has been so supportive of me. I have spent the best two years of my life here in Burlington, Vermont.

“My goal has always been to play in the National Hockey League, and Philadelphia has given me an opportunity to play that was too hard to pass up. I have an opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream.”

Sharp will attend the Flyers training camp in August in Philadelphia, and likely will begin his professional career with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League (AHL).