Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Canucks may have an interest in Gophers Bjugstad

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Yesterday I included a link to this story in one of my blog posts.

This is one of the reasons that I think that the Gophers are lucky to have Nick Bjugstad back with them this season. There are many that believe that Bjugstad could play in the NHL this season and that he is NHL ready.
Ben Kuzma, The Province --- Nick Bjugstad is not Patrick White.

While the centres are first-round NHL draft picks and products of the heavily scrutinized University of Minnesota program, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Bjugstad is coming off a 25-goal NCAA sophomore season and it’s not surprising that the Vancouver Canucks have rumoured interest in the 20-year-old as a possible return from the Florida Panthers in a Roberto Luongo trade package. The previous regime had that level of interest in the 2007 draft when White was a surprise 25th overall selection — one pick before the St. Louis Blues took David Perron — but he never played a game for the Canucks. White never had more than nine goals in his three college seasons, was traded to the San Jose Sharks in 2009 and spent last season in the third division of the German Oberliga. It was a clear draft-day miss.

However, as much as scouts will tell you that Bjugstad is a can’t-miss prospect whose career is on fast forward, he’s rightfully returning for another season with the Golden Gophers. He has yet to complete a full NCAA season, battled a pair of injuries last season and his production dropped in the second half after 16 goals in his first 20 games.
While Gopher and WCHA fans are lucky that we get to see the young Bjugstad play a final season in the WCHA… You can almost bet that Bjugstad will be signing an entry level deal as soon as the Gophers are eliminated from in the regional the NCAA tourney.