Buzzing The Net - Junior Hockey

Former Washington Capitals second-round pick Eric Mestery's hockey journey seems to have come to an enigmatic end.

Mestery, who was the highest-drafted Canadian Hockey League player from the 2008 NHL draft (57th overall) who was not signed by the June 1 deadline, has told his Western Hockey League club, the Tri-City Americans, that he is giving up hockey.

His reasons are his own, of course, but it is unusual for a 20-year-old player to just up and stop playing. One wonders if there will be some follow-up in Mestery's hometown, Winnipeg. Ams GM Bob Tory said Mestery, who had two stints in Tri-City sandwiched around two partial seasons with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, planned to attend university.

"I talked to Eric yesterday and he informed me that the passion and commitment needed to play at this level was gone ... that the game was no longer fun for him. Eric had asked that he not be traded, instead making a responsible and mature decision in regards to getting on with life after hockey. We wish him all the best in wherever his future takes him." (press release)

Tri-City, one of the tightest-checking teams in the WHL during its run to the championship series last season, now has at least three openings on defence, since Brett Plouffe and Jarrett Toll were overagers.

"[T]hat puts a big hole on defence, bigger than was already there with the departure of Toll and Plouffe. People may not have liked that he wasn't super physical, but he could play some good solid defence and he'll be missed." (I Mean, We Got Guys)

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Sports Canada. Contact him at neatesager@yahoo.ca and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.

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