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Keaton Thompson had a breakout 2015-16 season with North Dakota and signed with the Anaheim Ducks (photo: Candace Horgan).

North Dakota junior defenseman Keaton Thompson has signed a three-year, entry level contract with the Anaheim Ducks and will forgo his final year of collegiate eligibility.

Anaheim drafted Thompson in the third round (87th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Thompson enjoyed his finest collegiate season in 2015-16 and helped lead the Fighting Hawks to the national championship and its second straight Penrose Cup as NCHC regular-season champions.

He played in a career-high 43 games and registered personal-bests in points (17), assists (15) and plus/minus rating (plus-21).

In 105 career games at North Dakota, Thompson collected eight goals and 28 assists with a plus-43 rating.

Another UND junior blueliner, Troy Stecher, signed with Vancouver last week.

  • Sparky

    Well, I wish Keaton all the best. He is a great kid and had many ND fans rooting for him while at UND. As a fan looking from the outside in, I have to question the wisdom of this move. A strong Sr year at UND would have been invaluable to Keaton. I have a bad feeling about the underpinnings of this decision; I hope I am wrong for Keaton’s sake.

    • UofMGoldenChokers

      If he started his senior year like the first half of this last year, they probably wouldn’t be signing him. He finished the year strong.

  • Jmst

    I wonder when we’ll find out about the others? LaDue, Schmaltz, Luke Johnson, Poolman, Cam Johnson. The longer they go without signing has to be good news for UND I would think. Seems like they sometimes just ink these end of season deals to get another month of playoff hockey…albeit in the minors.

    Ausmus and Boeser said they were coming back. Any others i’m missing?

    • stod_2

      Poolman announced he is coming back. His brother will be a freshman so my guess is he anted a year to play with him.

      As long as we have those two d-men and the forwards that are coming back we should be in great shape. Would be great to have schmaltz and ladue back as well but that would just be gravy at this point. I don’t think that with Luke’s knee there is any chance he does anything but come back.