Nebraska Omaha’s hockey program saw another high-profile player leave early Friday, with forward Jayson Megna forgoing his final three years of eligibility in order to turn professional.
Megna, who would’ve been UNO’s second-leading returning scorer in the 2012-13 season, is set to choose this weekend between the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Winnipeg Jets or the Boston Bruins.
“Obviously it was a tough decision for me to leave school after playing there for a year, playing with my brother (UNO defenseman Jaycob) and my other teammates,” Megna told the OWH’s Rob White. “I loved it. But I made a decision that I think is best for me and my career.”
Megna made the WCHA’s all-freshman team in 2011-12, recording 13 goals and 18 assists for 31 points.
Megna’s departure follows that of Terry Broadhurst, UNO’s captain during the 2011-12 campaign who signed with the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks in March.
Broadhurst would’ve been the Mavericks’ second-leading returning scorer behind junior-to-be Matt White if he’d stayed on for his senior season. Broadhurst scored 16 goals and added 20 helpers last season to help prop up a UNO team that struggled at the end of a campaign in which it finished 14-18-6.
Broadhurst’s younger brother, Alex, was expected to join the Mavericks for the new season after finishing his time with the United States Hockey League’s Green Bay Gamblers, but he never made it onto the UNO campus.
The early departures of Megna and Broadhurst leave a big hole for UNO’s remaining and incoming forwards to fill. Those two players scored 29 of the Mavericks’ 106 goals in 2011-12, a stat that left UNO in ninth place that season in scoring offense in the WCHA.