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Wings first-rounder Cholowski leaves school, signs ELC

2016 NHL Draft - Round One

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24: Dennis Cholowski celebrates with the Detroit Red Wings after being selected 20th overall during round one of the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Dennis Cholowski, the d-man taken 20th overall by Detroit at last year’s draft, is leaving St. Cloud State after his freshman campaign.

The Red Wings announced the move on Thursday, signing Cholowski to his three-year, entry-level deal.

Cholowski, 19, scored 12 points in 36 games this year as one of the youngest players in the country. Per the Red Wings, he finished fourth in points among 1998-born defensemen.

It’ll be interesting to see what Detroit does with Cholowski from here. While talented, he didn’t play in one of the top Canadian junior leagues in his draft year (starred with Chilliwack of the BCHL) and only had one campaign at the collegiate level.

Given the Red Wings’ organizational history with letting prospects spend extensive time in AHL Grand Rapids, that could be the play for Cholowski.