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College Hockey:
Bjugstad returning to Minnesota for junior season in ’12-13

Minnesota junior Nick Bjugstad announced Thursday that he is returning to the Golden Gophers for the 2012-13 season.

“This is the right spot for me,” said Bjugstad in a statement. “I am going to be close to finishing my education and hopefully can accomplish the goal that I have had ever since I was little, which is winning a national championship. We are going to have a good team this year and hopefully get another chance at the national championship and make a run there. I feel I can develop here and become more of a leader on the team as well. Hopefully, I will have a good season.”

Bjugstad, who will turn 20 on July 17, was originally drafted by the Florida Panthers in the first round (19th overall) of the 2010 NHL draft.

Bjugstad was named to the All-WCHA First Team and Second-Team All-American after recording 42 points in 40 games as a sophomore last season. He led Minnesota with 25 goals (tied for fifth in the nation) and also added 17 assists as he finished third on the team in points. His 25 goals were the most scored by a Gophers’ skater since Ryan Potulny had 38 in 2005-06.

“We are obviously excited Nick is returning,” added Minnesota coach Don Lucia. “I think Nick felt that he had a little bit more room to grow as a person and as a player. The great thing is that at the end of his junior year, he will be very close to graduating college. He can be a leader on our team and he feels he can continue to get better in our program.

“He made great strides his first two years and we are confident he is going to make great strides during his junior year.”


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  • Sioux #8

    I’m sure the goofs will be ranked #1 now? Just like every other year, but we all know how accurate that ranking is, lol!

    • Joseph Crowley

      Last year, I laughed out loud as my BU Terriers were ranked number one for a week. All that matters is who hoists the trophy at the end. Of course, I can no longer remember who won it all last year….

      • just_bobness

        It was those other guys on Comm Ave.

        • Joseph Crowley

          Northeastern finally won one? No, wait, they are on the E Train/Huntington Avenue.

  • NMGo4

    Sioux #8 is correct. In most seasons, polls mean nothing. Seriously, just think about the number of times NoDak has been ranked #1 in the Hakstol era (to include Hakstol as a player, asst. coach, or head coach). And zero championships in that entire era. Just shows, polls mean little.

    • Sioux#8

      Your funny because the Sioux haven’t been pre-ranked #1 in what ten years! The goofs are always ranked higher than the Sioux pre-season and always end up lower ranked at the end of the season! Nice try though, haha Sioux #1

      • NMGo4

        MN is always ranked higher pre-season, but ends up lower than UND? Remind me what happened three months ago.

        • nogofer

          6 – 1 pounding on national tv…

          • mahogma

            Remind us,how many frozen four championships does Hakstool have?

        • Sioux#8

          I will help you here, yes goofs finished higher by one game, but look at final rankings there clueless and let me know you find. I believe the Sioux were ranked fourth and the rodents were sixth!

          • jmsptrk

            that’s not much of a consolation for being stomped on national TV.

          • Sioux#8

            The stomping happened to goofers, did you forget why they had to go home? Lmao

          • jmsptrk

            yep, they lost. stomped, nope. gophers controlled every aspect of the game — shots, hits, scoring chances, faceoff wins, time in O zone, time of possession — except where it counted. the scoreboard. everyone showed up to play except Patterson. so what’s your excuse for *actually* getting stomped, by minny no less? haha. must’ve been a tough one to swallow for the entire off-season. having your season end at the hands of the gophers.

          • NMGo4

            Let’s just stick to facts. NoDak has a proud hockey tradition, but Minnesota ended NoDak’s season in emphatic fashion last year. It was a dominant performance over UND that hadn’t been seen in some time. Moreover, Minne has two championships since NoDak won its last. Hakstol has been at NoDak for, what, 14 years as a player, asst. coach, coach, and has never been part of a title. I love the rivalry between Minne and UND, but never understand the folks on either side who would suggest that one team is dominant over the other year after year. NoDak has dominated the rivalry in recent years. I hated it, but good for them. That is what rivalries are built on. However, especially with Nick’s return, the tide seems to be turning. And the Sioux know it! Can’t wait to see how it plays out on the ice.

          • B.D.

            My analysis is that Minnesota had an edge last year in experience as UND was in a rebuilding cycle after losing an unusually large crop of seniors the year before.
            Regarding the failure of Hakstol of win a final four, well only one team can win that each year and you must ascribe that failure to most if not virtually all college hockey coaches over that same window. In other words its a bogus assertion and logical failure.
            WHo will win this year? Hard to say, UND is still rebuilding as too many key leaders were out for too much of the year for them to have gelled sufficiently for a great team – though I was truly surprised and greatly pleased that the survivors from last year became such a cohesive team under such pressure.

          • Sioux#8

            Yes their season ended from goofs, part of the game, but a 5-2 loss with 2 empty neters is hardly a stomping, but hey you won and got to get killed the next game by BC! That was a stomping! As far as this coming season, yea I can’t wait either, and good luck with the tables are turning therory, lmao….

          • nogofer

            In anybody’s book 6 – 1 is a whuppin’…

      • mahogma

        The Susans have collective Alzheimers whenever their nonames lay an egg.

        • B.D.

          Explain?

  • Fan Man

    Usually* going into the season ranked #1 is not a good thing! I’m glad the gophers will be dealing with that burden.. Damn you Bjugs for coming back!!! Now we should really have a battle for the M-Cup. Whatever happens, this will be the last time a WCHA team wins the National Title for a long long time me thinks

    • Guest

      I’ll bet a nWCHA wins the national title before SCSU gets a tourney bid….

      • Fan Man

        Hahahaha thats probably true :)

      • B.D.

        Could happen.
        But since SCSU has seen fit to produce additional outlays for the program and it will be playing at a higher level of competition, then it is more likely they will bet a tourney bid.

        • WCHA Fan

          Doubtful. Dont forget, SCSU was 4-7-1 against the future WCHA teams last year. I think they will be bottom feeding for a long-long time. Don’t get me wrong, I think they would be one of the best programs in the n, but last place teams don’t make the tourney, regardless of their non-conference record.

      • BulldogFan

        And I’ll bet UND, UMD, DENVER, MIAMI, all win national titles again before a nWCHA does.

        • B.D.

          using the limited data presented by the past two years standings and statistics – you could easily make that case.

        • WCHA Fan

          I’ll give you UND and Denver. Miami has an outside chance. I think it will be another 25 years for UMD. But gotta love your optomistic outlook. Don’t forget last years runner-up is in the n.

          • BulldogFan

            keep telling yourself that….won’t change anything but keep telling yourself that

          • WCHA Fan

            Ditto

  • jdhockeyboyz

    How refreshing – a 19 year old decides that a career can wait until next year. The NHL will still be there but you can never go back and play with your buds once hockey becomes your business. Now get out there and earn a Hobey, ya Knucklehead!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1060101149 Jason Jacobson

      unless he gets a concussion and will never get to sign a pro contract

  • nogofer

    Who will fill the hole between the pipes???

    • jmsptrk

      that is the million dollar question.

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