Minnesota Duluth’s Koepke inks NHL contract with Tampa Bay, forgoes senior year with Bulldogs

Minnesota Duluth’s Cole Koepke tallied a team-best 15 goals during the 2020-21 season for the Bulldogs (photo: Mark Kuhlmann).

Minnesota Duluth junior forward Cole Koepke has signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning and will forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility.

Koepke was drafted by the Lightning in the sixth round (183rd overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft.

Over his three-year span, the Hermantown, Minn., native has scored 38 goals and dished 37 assists for 75 points in 104 games with UMD. He also served as an assistant captain in 2020-21 while collecting 15 goals and 23 points in 28 games.

During his freshman season, Koepke was a part of the Bulldogs’ 2019 national championship team.