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Blackhawks decide not to sign prospect Beau Starrett

The 2014 third-round pick is now an unrestricted free agent.

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2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship - Northeast Regional

The Blackhawks officially lost the NHL rights to four players, including three from their 2014 draft class, by not signing them to NHL deals by Thursday’s deadline: Jack Ramsey, Beau Starrett and Fredrik Olofsson and trade acquisition Liam Coughlin.

Starrett, a third-round pick, recorded eight goals and 15 points in 36 games for Cornell. The 6-foot-5, 212-pound center struggled to put things together at the NCAA level and is now an unrestricted free agent. He told Scott Powers of The Athletic last week that he intends to sign elsewhere after the deadline.

Olofsson, a fourth-round selection, bounced back after a rough junior season at Nebraska-Omaha with a career-high 34 points (10 goals, 24 assists). The former Chicago Steel standout joined the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL for two games on an amateur tryout deal and did not register a point. The Swedish-born winger signed a one-year contract with MODO Hockey in Sweden’s second division, Allsvenskan, in May.

Coughlin and Ramsey, however, both signed AHL contracts this offseason with the IceHogs for next season. Coughlin, who was acquired from Edmonton in July 2015 for goaltender Anders Nilsson, had 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 29 games at Vermont. The Oilers selected Coughlin in the fifth round in 2014.

Ramsey, a seventh-round selection, put up only four points (three goals, one assist) in 38 games for Minnesota. After his NCAA season ended, he had one goal in four ECHL games with the Indy Fuel.

The official departure of Starrett leaves the Blackhawks with only two players from their 2014 draft class in Dylan Sikura and Ramsey. Sikura, a sixth-rounder, signed a two-year extension in June, and could compete for an NHL roster spot this fall. He has no goals and 11 assists in 38 NHL games. First-rounder Nick Schmaltz, who was traded to Arizona last November, is the only other member of Chicago’s 2014 class to play in the NHL.

The Blackhawks still hold the rights to Russian goaltender Ivan Nalimov, who was selected right after Sikura. Nalimov was traded in July between KHL teams Avangard Omsk and SKA St. Petersburg.