UConn men’s hockey forward Kale Howarth is turning pro, head coach Mike Cavanaugh told The UConn Blog on Wednesday. A 2017 fifth-round pick (148th overall) of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Howarth played three seasons with the Huskies, totaling 16 goals and 18 assists in 79 career games.
Due to an academic issue, Howarth only had three years of eligibility when he arrived in Storrs, so he was expected to leave after this season before the NCAA granted all winter athletes an extra year. Even with the opportunity to return, Howarth will stick to the original plan and turn pro — with a degree in hand.
“He’s going to graduate from UConn which is a tremendous accomplishment for him,” Cavanaugh said. “He gave us three really good years and I totally support his decision to want to turn pro.”
Howarth left UConn’s playoff game against Providence — now the final game of his collegiate career — with a gruesome-looking knee injury. While it doesn’t appear to be as severe as the team initially feared, the full extent of the injury is still unknown.
“I talked to him about two weeks ago, he said the knee was getting better but he wasn’t sure where it was at yet. There’s still I think some swelling in it,” Cavanaugh said. “At first they thought it was a torn ACL, I don’t think that’s the case but there might be an MCL issue he’s got to deal with there.”
Howarth is the third UConn player to turn pro this offseason, joining sophomore defenseman Yan Kuznetsov (Calgary Flames) and junior goaltender Tomas Vomacka (Nashville Predators).