Lets not kid ourselves, Bjugstad is one of the better forwards in the WCHA and could’ve signed a entry level professional contract this summer if he wanted to.
Recently while listening to the P.A. show on KFAN 100.3 at the end of June, the host Paul Allen had Michael Russo of the Star and Tribune on the show with him.
During that segment in question Russo said that if Bjugstad did in fact sign an entry level deal, he would probably would start the season in the AHL based on who the Panthers had on their roster. It also sounds like the Panthers were in no rush to sign the young Minnesota forward.
The upside is with Bjugstad staying in college, it doesn't hurt his development at all, he is going to play against older players. The Gophers also win because they don't to rush another forward in to take his place in the line up and they keep their coveted forward for one more season.
There is one loser in the equation - it's bad for WCHA goalies - who he could be lighting up for 20+ goals this season - Bjugstad had 25 last season.
Gopher Sports --- Minnesota junior Nick Bjugstad announced today that he is returning to the Golden Gopher hockey team for the 2012-13 season.Based on what has happened recently in College hockey Nick Bjugstad returning to the Golden Gophers for another season is a win for college hockey. It's rare that we get to see a highly talented blue chip players stay more than two seasons – this is exciting for college hockey fans – in the past highly talented first round draft choices rarely if ever stay more than two seasons.
"This is the right spot for me," said Bjugstad. "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."
The 6’5”, 211-pound center from Blaine, Minn., was named All-WCHA First Team and Second-Team All-American after recording 42 points in 40 games as a sophomore. 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 Gopher since Ryan Potulny had 38 in 2005-06. Minnesota was 20-6-1 when he had a point last season.
Bjugstad, who will turn 20 next Tuesday, recorded 21 of his points (9g-12a) in 16 road games and he had a point in 13 of 16 games away from Mariucci Arena. He was +21 on the season and tied for second on the team in power-play goals (8). He also led the team in shooting percentage (17.2%) and faceoffs (of players who have taken more than 50 faceoffs) with a 57.9% success rate.
Bjugstad goes back to college
Panthers prospect forward Nick Bjugstad, who was believed to have a chance at making the team this year, has decided to return to the University of Minnesota for his junior season and put his pro career on hold.
“We told him to weigh the pros and cons,’’ Tallon said. “Either way we stick by him and support him. He has a brilliant future for us and I’m excited for whenever it starts.’’