Bjugstad To Remain With Gophers For A Third Year


Nick Bjugstad isn’t ready to say goodbye to college hockey just yet.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers announced this past Friday that Bjugstad will return to the team for a third year in his junior year of college. The Florida Panthers, in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, drafted the 6’5”, 211-pound center.

“I feel I can develop here and become more of a leader on the team as well,” Bjugstad was quoted as saying about his decision to remain with the team. “Hopefully, I will have a good season.”

Bjugstad already has 69 games under his belt for his time with the Gophers; accumulating a total of 62 points within the two years. He was named to both the All-WCHA First Team and Second Team All-American in his sophomore year at the University of Minnesota after leading the team with 25 goals on the year.

The just turned 20-year old is equally as good on the road as he is at Mariucci Arena; scoring half of his point total from last season away from home. He scored points in 13 of the 16 road games he partook in. Last November, Bjugstad was named Player of the Month.

Along with his credentials at the University of Minnesota, Bjugstad has also played for Team USA at the World Junior Championships for the past two years. In his first tournament, he recorded a total of 4 points in 6 games in the tournament that was held in Buffalo, New York. His second year turned out a little better; having recorded 6 points in 6 games when the games were held in both Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The US took home the bronze in 2011 fell short in 2012 when they did not medal.

The Gophers nearly reached another championship title last season with Bjugstad leading the charge. Another year under his belt might propel him – and the rest of the team – to going all the way this time around.