Minnesota’s defense sustained a major loss this week, as the Minnesota Daily reported Wednesday that Gopher defenseman Ben Clymer is set to sign with the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins, forgoing his final three years of eligibility.
Clymer, a WCHA All-Rookie pick two years ago when he scored seven goals and 20 points 29 games, missed almost all of last season with a shoulder injury. He obtained a medical redshirt from the NCAA for the lost season, preserving a third year of collegiate eligibility, and would have been expected to shore up a Gopher defense which now has only four players returning from 1997-98.
The 6-0, 180-pound native of Bloomington, Minn., told the Daily, “We talked about it throughout spring quarter. … [The coaching staff] knew I was thinking about leaving school. I just told them that I thought this was the best choice for me to make right now.”
Clymer also cited the opportunity to play a full professional season, as opposed to the 30- to 40-game year he would have had at Minnesota, as a factor in his decision. He has not yet signed a deal with Boston, but once he does, Clymer said he expects to join the Bruins’ affiliate in the American Hockey League, Providence.