Sampo Ranta, the third-round pick in 2018 of the Colorado Avalanche, might be having some issues getting into the University of Wisconsin in a story first reported by Mark Divver of The Providence Journal and Rinkside Rhode Island. Ranta committed to Wisconsin all the way back in August 2016, the same time he joined the Sioux City Musketeers of the USHL.
Now, he has spent the past two seasons developing and getting drafted only to be held up from joining Wisconsin due to a rumored admissions issue. It is unclear what the specific problem is for the Finnish-born left wing, but it sounds like he may need to go looking at other places to play for the upcoming 2018-19 hockey year.
Colorado Avalanche 3rd rounder Sampo Ranta rumored to have hit an admissions snag at Wisconsin. Wouldn't be shocked if he lands at BU, which now has some cap room— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) August 11, 2018
For some background on Ranta, you can read MHH’s Top 25 Under 25 prospect report on one of Colorado’s newest young players. Ranta had a great year last year, he quadrupled his point totals from the year before, and helped Finland win U18 World Championships.
Most of the NCAA’s Division I teams already have their rosters set, except one. As of Saturday, the Ottawa Senators 4th overall pick in 2018, Brady Tkachuk, has left the NCAA, despite having already played a full year with Boston University and has signed an ELC with the Senators and can join the NHL, AHL, or OHL next year. This means, the Terriers have retained all of Tkachuk’s scholarship funds and now see an open spot in their lineup. As Divver has speculated above, it would be quite logical for Ranta to join BU if the Wisconsin situation isn’t resolved.
Going back to Tkachuk, in my opinion, the Senators are in the middle of the darkest time in their franchise’s 25-year history and will have to give up their top pick to the Colorado Avalanche (that’s us!), so the idea of joining an organization that toxic right now is beyond me.
Then again, Tkachuk’s OHL right lay with the London Knights, who just got their owner and general manager, Mark Hunter, back from the Toronto Maple Leafs. What a funny coincidence that is, especially considering all of these events have happened over the course of two days.
Snooping around on the Brady Tkachuk story, there is a strong belief from most corners that he ends up playing with the London Knights this season.— Jeff Marek (@JeffMarek) August 11, 2018
It feels like the plan is for Tkachuk to help the Senators be as not terrible as they possibly can, and if Tkachuk can’t stick with what will most likely be the worst team in the NHL next year, he can go play on Hunter’s Knights. Sometimes the movement of players between the CHL and college ranks can feel a lot more like Game of Thrones than anything else. It is almost the norm for teams to make backroom deals the multiple parties involved so that one team can make a desperate run for a championdship.
At the end of the day, all of this can only benefit Ranta because now he has options to play for different programs and won’t have to sacrifice the education he has been planning on receiving for over two years now.