Boston University forward Justin Maiser has decided not to return for his final two seasons of eligibility, and instead will play major junior hockey this season.
Maiser had 12 goals and 23 points in 40 games for the Terriers last season, following up a 21-point campaign his freshman year.
The 20-year old Maiser, from Edina, Minn., was the Most Valuable Player of last year’s Beanpot tournament after scoring two goals in the championship game.
Maiser becomes the latest in a growing number of defections this year from college to major junior. In particular, many American college prospects have backed out of commitments recently to play major junior, including four that had committed to play for the U.S. Junior National Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich.
“I just think I needed some more development. I had two great years at BU with great players and a great coaching staff. It’s tough to leave, but hopefully it’ll be the best move for my career,” said Maiser to the Boston Herald.
Maiser was expected to be a key player in BU’s hopes this year. He said junior was a better fit for his game right now, a decision which surprised BU coach Jack Parker.
“I guess he was pretty shocked,” said Maiser to the Herald. “He talked to me about staying, but obviously it didn’t change my mind. And once I met with him in person, it was that much harder to do. It was tough.”
Maiser is a fifth-round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues.