Blue Jackets sign Columbus-born Kole Sherwood

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed forward Kole Sherwood to a three-year entry level contract, the club announced today.

While Sherwood is far from a top prospect — he went undrafted late last month — the signing is a big deal in the Columbus market, as the 18-year-old is a local product.

From The Columbus Dispatch:

Sherwood will be the first player signed directly out of the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets program, and the first Columbus-born player to sign a contract with the hometown NHL club.

Sherwood has also signed to play for the London Knights, one of the top programs in the Ontario Hockey League.

He had planned to play two years for Youngstown of the United States Hockey League and then attend Boston University beginning in 2017, but Youngstown and Boston U. were notified of Sherwood’s decision after he visited London’s facilities and met with management on Monday.

Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen reportedly tried to acquire a seventh-round pick in the draft in order to select Sherwood, but couldn’t find a trade partner.