The Harvard men’s hockey team took another hit Monday when defenseman Reilly Walsh decided to forgo his senior season and signed a three-year entry-level contract with the New Jersey Devils.
Walsh becomes the fourth Harvard underclassman to leave the program and sign a pro contract in the last month, joining Jack Rathbone, Jack Drury, and Henry Bowlby. That all four waited until the summer would seem to indicate they had intended on returning to play in 2020-21, with a Crimson team that was projected to be among the top 10 in the country. But the uncertainty surrounding the future of NCAA sports, and college hockey in particular, appears to have altered their plans.
Last month, the Ivy League announced there would be no sports for the remainder of the calendar year, meaning that a hockey season, were one to take place, would not start until January at the earliest and would have an abbreviated season. With reports that college presidents may call off fall sports this week, the winter sports season, which includes hockey and basketball, could be on notice.
Walsh played three seasons with the Crimson, scoring 27 goals to go with 51 assists. He was second among NCAA defensemen this past season with six power-play goals. Prior to playing at Harvard, the Andover, N.H. native was selected by the Devils in the third round of the 2017 NHL Draft.