Dubinsky slams NHL’s college free agency loophole: ‘It’s a joke’

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky looks on during a game against the Buffalo Sabres. (Jeffrey T. Barnes/AP)

As Will Butcher, Alex Kerfoot (signed) and Blaine Byron consider the offers rolling in from the array of NHL clubs seeking their services, Columbus Blue Jackets pivot Brandon Dubinsky fumes.

The veteran NHLer took to Twitter on Friday to speak out against the league’s current setup, which allows college players to pass on the clubs that draft them and become free agents after their NCAA careers conclude.

Players drafted out of college have their rights retained by their drafting teams for four years, after which time – if a deal is not reached – they can become unrestricted free agents. That affords NCAA players a desirable route to choosing the club with which they may start their career – an option not given to young players coming out of major junior hockey.

Plenty of college players have utilized this option in recent years, most notably Pittsburgh Penguins defender Justin Schultz, who walked away from the Anaheim Ducks before signing with the Edmonton Oilers in 2012.

Dubinsky later clarified his comments, pushing for equal treatment for up-and-coming players:

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