The Merrimack Warriors lost the penultimate game of the 2011-12 regular season to the Massachusetts Minutemen, 5-1. The loss dropped Merrimack to 16-10-7, and more importantly to 16th in the Pairwise Rankings. If the NCAA tournament were to begin today, Merrimack would not make the field -- the Atlantic Hockey champions would leave them on the outside looking in.
The Warriors still have a chance to recover via the Hockey East conference playoffs which begin next weekend, but if they don't improve their standing in the Pairwise Rankings and aren't able to win Hockey East, Merrimack's season ends in their conference tournament, meaning junior colossus Kyle Bigos is free to leave for the professional game, if he so chooses.
Bigos checked in at #23 in our Top 25 Under 25, his highest ranking since entering the organization. Bigos should make a very good professional player:
Bigos is enormous, but not limited by lack of footspeed. He's a menace in the defensive zone, and he's able to make stretch passes in Merrimack's breakout. He takes a boatload of penalties, but he's got the ever-important crust and he's willing to both protect and stick up for his teammates.
There remains a small issue of signing him to a contract - if Bigos stays for his senior season with the Warriors, he'll become an unrestricted free agent next summer and at that point will no longer be bound by entry-level contracts. Those close to Bigos may advise him to stay in school and wait for the new CBA and/or avoid a possible contract rollback.
If, however, Bigos does turn pro, he would add size and toughness to the Barons' blueline, and because of the drafted players exemption to the clear day rules, he could play with the team in the Calder Cup Playoffs.