Report: Motte to sign with ‘Hawks as University of Michigan exodus continues

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Zach Werenski, Michael Downing and now, Tyler Motte.

Those are the three underclassmen that have left the University of Michigan to sign with NHL teams and begin their professional careers — on Wednesday,Wolverines head coach Red Berenson told Michigan Daily that Motte will skip his senior year to ink with Chicago.

Motte, a 21-year-old forward, was taken by the ‘Hawks in the fourth round in 2013, and just wrapped a wildly successful junior campaign at Michigan, in which he scored 32 goals and 56 points in only 38 games.

He’s a former U.S. National Development teammate of Buffalo’s Jack Eichel and Detroit’s Dylan Larkin, as well as J.T. Compher — another U of M underclassman that might go pro.

Looking ahead, all eyes will now be on fellow junior Compher, who’s rights are held by Colorado, and freshman sensation Kyle Connor, who was taken in the first round of last year’s draft by Winnipeg.

Motte, Connor and Compher were the Wolverines’ three leading scorers in ’15-16 and, just over a week ago, Berenson acknowledged he could be losing all three of them — after having already lost two prized d-men in Downing (Florida) and Werenski (Columbus).

“As soon as they start waving the flag, some of these kids can’t say no,” Berenson said, per the Detroit Free Press. “They’re so enamored and swayed. It used to be the players would ask me, ‘What do you think?’ They don’t ask anymore.”

Related: Another Wolverine goes pro, as Florida signs Downing