Michigan junior forward Chris Brown has decided to forgo his senior season with the Wolverines and sign an entry-level contract with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Brown was selected by the Coyotes in the second round (36th overall) of the 2009 NHL draft.

“We are disappointed in Chris’ decision to leave Michigan and not graduate with his class,” Michigan coach Red Berenson said in a statement.

Brown, Michigan’s first-ever recruit from Texas (Flower Mound), had 12 goals and 29 points in 38 games this season, including a three-point game (goal, two assists) on Jan. 15 against Ohio State in the Frozen Diamond Faceoff at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. He was named All-CCHA honorable mention and recognized for the CCHA play of the year for his goal against Miami on Feb. 4.

“I want to thank the Michigan coaching staff, my teammates and all the fans who have made my three years in Ann Arbor an experience that I will cherish forever,” added Brown. “This was a very difficult decision for me to make, but at the same time, I am excited about this opportunity.”

Brown appeared in 125 career games for the Wolverines, posting 80 points on 34 goals and 46 assists.

  • collegehockeyfan

    I think any coach becomes disappointed when this happens.  What can you do though?  Money calls….

  • phoenixfyre1313

    At least Brown is a junior unlike all the Sophmores that are leaving early.  It is somewhat troubling that when these players leave early all coaches have the good sense to wish their players well and hope for the best for them in the future.  Every other coach will publically say that except for Berenson who only expresses “disappointment” and he comes off as self-serving when he does so. Being dissapointed is one thing, but making that your only public statement is another.  Unfortunately it is the nature of the game now.  Suck it up Red and wish your players well.

    • Regretzky

      Red Berenson has always said “When they are ready, I’ll give them a ride to the airport.” I think his track record speaks for itself, and it doesn’t take much to read between the lines in this situation.

      • Phoenixfyre1313

        Your missing the point here. 

  • Fricker88

    In the past, Red has said that if a student/athlete can sign a million dollar guaranteed contract, go for it. Maybe he doesn’t think Browns ready for it. More
    than the money, he’s giving up the college hockey experience, the best days of his life!!!

  • Mr Hockey

    As a Gophers fan I’ve seen a lot of kids leave early and not make the NHL. That being said, the kids have to cash in when they can. They can take the money invest it, if hockey doesn’t work out, then they can go back to school.

  • Davyd83

    I wonder how disappointed he would be if Brown came back, got injured and lost a whole lot of $$$$ in the process.

    • Shany94a

       He’d probably say at least he’ll get his degree

  • Cmpeecher

    I am s DU Pioneer  fan and we have lost both Shore and Zucker to the NHL in the past few days.  I always hate to see them leave early but I do know that this what they have been after since they first put on skates.  Instead of being disappointed wish them luck and thanks for the time spent with your school.

  • Dropbows

    Least classy reaction to a student “leaving early” that I’ve seen in a while.  Easy for coach to say, this kid has an opportunity to make a hell of a lot of money and he can always go back and finish his degree.

    • Dlippiello

      Or the young man has the opportunity to get swallowed up in the minors playing half a year in the A, ending up on a daily bus in the ECHL, have little if no money to show for it and bypass the opportunity to end his college hockey career on the best terms possible. Its a hard decision either way for the player. I, for one applaud Red. He takes care of the kids and puts them first as people, not just players. I for one would love for my child to be in the hands of a coach who actually cares and doesn’t look as his program only in terms of a factory like a slimy Calipari on the hardwood.

  • UM Deker

    Here’s what Brown had to say:
    “It was very hard to tell a man that gave me an an opportunity for a great education that I’d be leaving early,” said Brown. “Obviously, he’s going to be disappointed, he’s got a team to look out for, but at the same time he gave me his blessing. He shook my hand and wished me good luck, which meant a lot.” 

  • Union Tampa

    Best the union players get picked apart into the pros like buffalo wings…. Hope we win it all this yr.. Next year you never know…

  • Norm Aronson

      If you follow the careers of the hockey players that leave college after thier 1st, 2nd, or third year to play professionaly, only a small percentage of them ever even make it to the NHL. I wish Chris Brown all the luck in the world and hope he has a long career. That being said, I have to believe Coach Berenson knows when a young man is ready to play at the next level.

    • bearfan1943

      I agree. For the hockey players who have stayed 4 years they have grown – not just in size but in ability. If you notice many of the BC and BU players stay the 4 years and really develop in  to top NHL players.

      • Jojo

        Indeed, look at Carl Hagelin with the Rangers now. 

  • Jdhockeyboyz

    Note to the coach:  Chris Brown made contributions toward the success of your program. The terse statement should have included thank you and best wishes. lt’s not about you coach, it’s about a young man’s future.

  • Chasing wabbits

    Red has a lot of class and please let us know how Mr Brown is doing 2 years from now. He’ll probably be riding busses in the AHL at best. Those “Bright College Years” are your best unless you are not any kind of a student.