ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan star defenseman Jack Johnson said Sunday he was negotiating a contract with the Los Angeles Kings, forgoing his final two years of eligibility to play in the NHL.
The sophomore announced his decision to The Michigan Daily, the university's student newspaper, a day after the team's 8-5 loss to North Dakota in the NCAA West Hockey Regional semifinals in Denver.
"With all my close friends, the seniors, gone now and everything, I thought it was time for me to pretty much go for a new challenge," Johnson told the newspaper.
Terms of the deal weren't immediately known. A message was left Sunday with a Kings spokesman.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Johnson had 16 goals, 21 assists and 37 points in 35 games this season for the Wolverines, who finished 26-14-1.
The Ann Arbor native enrolled at Michigan already drafted No. 3 overall in the 2005 NHL draft by the Carolina Hurricanes. He plans to return to classes after playing in the Kings' remaining six games and intends to earn a degree, said his father, Jack Johnson, Sr