Lee, one of the more coveted and NHL-ready prospects on the Islanders' depth chart, informed Garth Snow over the weekend that Lee will stay at Notre Dame for his junior year.
The 22-year-old Lee led the Irish with 17 goals this past season, which ended with disappointment after Notre Dame, which held the No. 1 college ranking for much of the early part of the season, failed to receive an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament following an 11-16-0 finish to their season.
Lee had a very strong rookie camp with the Islanders last July, improving hopes that the 2009 sixth-round pick would be interested in leaving school after his sophomore season to join the organization. But, after his Irish squad lost in the Frozen Four during Lee's freshman year, he said he was determined to return to school and try to win a national championship.
Now, he's chosen to return again, ideally to be closer to earning his degree, according to a source.
There is some concern that a loophole in the current NHL collective bargaining agreement that says a draftee who has played only U.S. college hockey must be signed before the fourth June following his draft year would keep the Islanders from signing Lee -- that fourth June comes next summer.
But the feeling is that loophole will be closed this summer, when a new CBA is negotiated. There are no indications that Lee is unhappy with the Islanders or that he's staying in school to avoid joining the team.