Blue Jackets first-rounder Milano opts for OHL over Boston College

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Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Sonny Milano informed Boston College that he’s decided to play for the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers instead next season, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch and Rob Mixer of the Blue Jackets’ website.

The Blue Jackets selected Milano with the 16th overall pick of the 2014 NHL Draft. Portzline wonders if the team steered the 18-year-old toward the OHL path, even if they denied doing so. (GM Jarmo Kekalainen said he’d leave that decision to Milano and his family earlier this summer, according to Portzline.)

Either way, Portzline points out some of the perks that come with going this route:

Plymouth is one of Canada’s well-respected major-junior programs. He’ll play nearly twice as many games in major-junior as he would at Boston College, and he can sign an entry-level contract with the Blue Jackets – along with a healthy signing bonus — without having to worry about his NCAA eligibility.

Milano can also get his feet wet at Blue Jackets training camp if the team decides to go that direction.

Obviously there are advantages to considering the NCAA option as well, but Milano decided to go down a different road.