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Maxim Letunov signs pro contract with San Jose Sharks

Derek Pratt signs an ATO with South Carolina in the ECHL as well.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

On Wednesday, UConn men’s hockey players began to announce they were leaving school to head to the professional ranks and among them was leading point-scorer, Maxim Letunov.

The 6-foot-3 forward from Moscow signed his three-year entry-level contract with the San Jose Sharks just after being named an all-Hockey East second-teamer. Letunov led the team in a litany of statistical categories, including assists, and will head to San Jose no matter what as the Sharks’ AHL affiliate — the San Jose Barracuda — play in the same arena as the big club.

Letunov was one of Mike Cavanaugh’s first big gets as head coach. He was originally supposed to head to Boston University, but an admissions problem on Commonwealth Avenue led to the Russian ending up in Storrs instead.

The Sharks have high praise for the forward.

“Max is a talented scorer and playmaker who has utilized his high-end speed and creativity to produce at every level that he has played,” general manager Ron Wilson said in a statement. “His tremendous hockey sense has allowed him to develop into a strong special teams asset at both ends of the ice. He has worked hard to improve his physical strength and has shown us that he is ready to translate his game to the professional ranks.”

Earlier in the afternoon, captain Derek Pratt signed an Amateur Try-Out agreement (ATO) with the South Carolina Stingrays, the ECHL affiliate of the Hershey Bears of the AHL and Washington Capitals of the NHL.

Pratt was captain for two years and was an alternate captain during his sophomore campaign, maintaining a steady defensive presence for the Huskies all four years in Storrs.

His debut will come this weekend when the Idaho Steeheads come to town.