Harvard’s Adam Fox is still mulling his options

Also: Northeastern goalie Cayden Primeau signed with the Canadiens and two Providence players signed entry-level contracts.

Harvard Adam Fox NCAA Hockey
Harvard University defenseman Adam Fox has not yet decided if he will turn pro or stay for his senior year. –The Associated Press

Harvard defenseman Adam Fox is still weighing his options as he decides on his future. The Hobey Baker finalist could return for his senior season and get his degree. By doing so, he would enter next season as a Hobey Baker candidate and become a free agent in the summer of 2020.

The other option would be to sign with the Carolina Hurricanes, who traded for his draft rights in the summer of 2018, or another team should they trade for his rights. He has made no official announcement of a decision. The two previous Hobey Baker candidates from Harvard offer a contrast in how to approach the situation.

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In 2015, Jimmy Vesey was a finalist but was a runner-up to Jack Eichel. Vesey chose to return to the Crimson for his senior year, leading Harvard to the NCAA tournament and winning the Hobey in 2016. Electing not to sign with the Nashville Predators, who owned his draft rights, Vesey instead became a free agent and decided to sign with the New York Rangers that summer.

Ryan Donato was a finalist for the award in 2018, but lost out to Adam Gaudette. After Harvard’s season was over, Donato decided to forgo his senior season and signed with the Bruins. After registering 9 points in 12 games last spring, Donato had just 9 points in 34 games with the Bruins this season. Twice demoted to AHL Providence, he was shipped to the Minnesota Wild in February in exchange for Charlie Coyle.

Speaking at the Frozen Four in Buffalo last week, Fox said he was focused on finishing up his spring semester, and would contact Donato and Vesey about their paths to the NHL.

“I think everyone’s route to get there is different,’’ said Fox. “Obviously it’s good to look at them and see the paths they took and how they were in a similar situation. For me, it’s deciding what’s best for me, and see how it goes. I’ll reach out to them. I played with Ryan for two years. I didn’t get to play with Jimmy. They’re good resources, so it’s always good to have that and have someone to get advice from.’’

Primeau on decision to leave Northeastern

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Cayden Primeau was also in Buffalo to receive the Mike Richter Award, given to the most outstanding goaltender in college hockey. After going 25-9-1 and leading Northeastern to the Beanpot and Hockey East tournament titles, the sophomore decided to sign with the Montreal Canadiens.

“It was really difficult. Northeastern was awesome,’’ said Primeau. “I made a lot of friendships and even just being in Boston, being at school, everything about Northeastern I love, so it was really difficult.’’

Primeau said he came to believe this year that he was ready to move on.

“Last year I wanted to keep the team in games, being a freshman,’’ said Primeau. “This year I tried to take more responsibility. I wanted to win games and be that factor, so over the course of the year I tried to step up. I felt like I was ready for that next step.’’

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Primeau’s father, Keith, played 16 seasons in the NHL. His uncle Wayne also played in the NHL, including 101 games with the Bruins from 2005 to 2007.

“The reason I went to Northeastern is because my uncle played in Boston,’’ said Primeau. “I went to visit when I was younger, and I fell in love with Boston and knew I wanted to go to school there. I started talking to Northeastern, went and visited, and I felt like it was the right fit, so that’s the reason I went to Northeastern, and I’m glad I did.’’

Providence duo leaves early

Providence’s Brandon Duhaime and Jacob Bryson both decided to forgo their final season of eligibility to sign entry-level contracts.

Duhaime signed with the Minnesota Wild, who drafted him in the fourth round in 2016. The forward from Parkland, Fla. had 11 goals and 23 assists, both career highs, as the Friars advanced to the Frozen Four.

Bryson signed with the Buffalo Sabres, who drafted him in the fourth round in 2017. He had four goals and 24 assists for the Friars this past season, and coach Nate Leaman said after the NCAA regionals that Bryson was the best defenseman he’s coached.