Merrimack’s Da Costa Turns Down Offers, Will Return to School

Undrafted free agent Stephane Da Costa got the expected attention from NHL teams after his breakout rookie season at Merrimack.

His answer to those offers may have been unexpected, considering recent trends.

Da Costa is returning to school for his sophomore season, he told the Eagle-Tribune this week.

“I always thought that I was coming back to Merrimack,” Da Costa, the USCHO.com national rookie of the year, told the newspaper. “I wanted to get bigger and get stronger and a little more experienced on the ice. Team wise, I want to go to the TD Garden and win a championship.”

Da Costa led Merrimack with a 45-point season in 34 games. That led to “quite a few offers” from NHL teams, he told the Eagle-Tribune.

“I talked to a lot of people and a lot of people told me that it’s never too late to go pro,” Da Costa said. “Leaving too early to play in the NHL, sometimes you have only one or two chances. I want to be ready for that chance when it comes. I don’t want to just rush it and not be ready.”

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