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‘Hits too hard for college’ -- Ohio State’s Healey drawing major NHL interest

Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Championship

ST PAUL, MN - MARCH 22: Jedd Soleway #22 of the Wisconsin Badgers checks Josh Healey #47 of the Ohio State Buckeyes into the boards during the third period of the Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Championship game on March 22, 2014 at Xcel Energy Center in St Paul, Minnesota. The Wisconsin Badgers defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 5-4 in overtime. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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Keep an eye on Ohio State blueliner Josh Healey as the window to sign undrafted college free agents begins.

Also, keep your head up.

Healey, who’s emerged as one of the most lethal hitters in college hockey, is reportedly garnering interest from a number of NHL clubs, per TSN. The 6-foot, 196-pound defenseman is a fourth-year senior at OSU and, over the last two years, has run afoul of the Big Ten’s disciplinary board due to his physical play.

Healey had twice been suspended prior to this weekend, when he delivered this check in a game against Minnesota:

That one netted Healey a two-game suspension.

More on Healey, from TSN:

“Old school – keep your head up when he’s on the ice,” one NHL executive said of the 22-year-old from Edmonton who has generated interest from almost every NHL club.

“Hits too hard for college hockey,” another NHL scout said. “His game will be better suited to pro.”

Healey attended the 2016 summer development camps of both the Calgary Flames and Nashville Predators. In 2015, he attended the Edmonton Oilers’ summer development camp. Those clubs are among the large group of NHL teams that will be competing to sign Healey once OSU’s season is over.

Scouts say he’s a decent first-pass defenceman but his forte is open-ice hitting and playing a hard, physical game. He projects as a depth or perhaps third-pairing type defenceman. He’s not a sure bet to play in the NHL, but certainly worth a shot.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie noted it’s a “thin” year for college free agents, which could further spike interest in Healey.