Nick Bjugstad Expects To Play At World Juniors


Minnesota’s Nick Bjugstad suffered a potentially serious injury against Michigan Tech, but has said that despite being unable to practice with contact at the WJC camp he should be ready to go when the tournament starts on Boxing Day. Bjugstad said he’s not allowed to say what the injury was, or even narrow it down to upper and lower body, but it sounds like it is his shoulder.

Obviously that puts Dean Blais in a tough spot, as Bjugstad is probably the best forward on the US roster, but also is a key forward on one of the teams directly competing with Nebraska-Omaha this year and in the future. Blais, for his part, said Bjugstad won’t play unless he is 100% healthy, and it looks like Bjugstad will be once the tournament rolls around in less than a week.

And good news too: Bjugstad is tied for 11th nationally in points per game and is fourth nationally in goals per game.

The US plays Russia tonight and Switzerland on Wednesday in exhibition contests. Bjugstad’s linemate at Minnesota, Freshman Kyle Rau, is thought to be on the bubble for the final roster. With how well they have played together you wonder if Rau will make it and play with Bjugstad at the tournament.