Cogliano ready to rock

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

Andrew Cogliano figured it was time to move on.

That's why the Toronto native chose to forgo his last two years of school and sign with the Edmonton Oilers.

"We'd been in negotiations for about three weeks," Cogliano said yesterday.

"There was a deadline because I had to register to go back to school for spring term on May 1. So it came down to the last minute, but I had made up my mind a little earlier that I wanted to leave school and get into pro hockey."

Cogliano, 19, signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Oilers earlier this week. The Oilers first pick - 25th overall - in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft will attend training camp this fall.

"I think I developed very well in college, and thinking on it, I felt it was time to move on to pro hockey," Cogliano said. "I wanted to get used to that lifestyle and play more games. I just think that will help me develop into a man and gain that experience to have a good career in the NHL."

Cogliano leaves the University of Michigan with two years of eligibility remaining. Last season he scored 24 goals and added 26 assists in 38 games with the Wolverines. He finished the season ranked eighth in the NCAA in points and seventh in goals.

"I was very happy with my year," Cogliano said. "I led the team in goals and I was also able to win another gold medal with the world junior team. The past two years have been very good to me at Michigan, it was just too bad we didn't win anything at Michigan, but that's just how it goes sometimes."

Cogliano was a member of Canada's last two entries into the World Junior hockey championships, winning gold on both occasions.

One of the biggest adjustments for him heading into professional hockey will be the number of games he plays in a season.

Next year the five-foot-10, 185-pound centre will most likely play with the Oilers' AHL affiliate in Springfield.

"My goal coming into training camp next year is just to show well," Cogliano said. "I want to come in, in good shape and do things well and to fit in some place.

"It's going to be tough to make the team, and going to the AHL is a reality that I'll have to face and I'm ready for that."


Videos

Photos