Badgers' Earl leaving early to join Maple Leafs

Updated: April 15, 2006, 1:26 AM ET
Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin junior forward Robbie Earl said Friday he is leaving school early to join the Toronto Maple Leafs organization.

Earl, who was Most Outstanding Player of the Frozen Four after leading the Badgers to the national championship, was selected by the Maple Leafs in the sixth round of the 2004 draft.

Earl wanted to join his new team, a Toronto minor league affiliate, as soon as possible to better position himself for next season.

"I think that's huge, going into a situation where you're fighting for spots," Earl said.

Earl scored three goals in two Frozen Four games last weekend, including the game-tying goal in Wisconsin's 2-1 victory over Boston College on April 8.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press