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From dorm rooms to the NHL

Mar 16, 2010, 7:45 PM EDT

Casey Wellman is having a pretty good day today, I imagine. Yesterday
he was a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts, living the
college dream of frat parties (responsibly of course), mid-terms,
activist rallies and college co-eds. Today, he’s an NHL player.

Minnesota Wild signed Wellman, a center, a two-year contract today, according
to an AP report
. He scored 23 goals this past season with UMass,
and is a natural scorer with a great shot and who was easily the best
goal scorer on his college team.

Normally, college graduates
spend some time in the minors before heading to the NHL but the Wild are
going to have Wellman join the team immediately. Minnesota is most
likely completely out of playoff contention and it seems they feel this
is a great chance for Wellman to jump into the fire and show what he can
do. It’s going to be a big shock, however, to go from facing off
against opponents who are just learning to shave to staring down the
likes of Joe Thornton and Nicklas Lidstrom.

There’s no doubt that
he’ll also provide help for a Wild team that is hurting at the center
position. It’s not everyday that a college player is signed to instantly
boost an NHL team, but Wellman has that opportunity now. I’ll certainly
be watching his first game to see how he does.

  1. Jeff - Mar 16, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    Actually, he’s 22 years old and (less than 2 months younger than Sidney Crosby and way older than Steven Stamkos). College players are actually usually older than college athletes of other sports, mainly because they usually have to play a season or two in a junior A league before they are considered good enough for a scholarship.
    That said- I like the move for the Wild. A team in need of scoring can never have enough finishers…

  2. Stephen M - Mar 17, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    Craig Ludwig’s other son, Tyler, was just signed to an ATO with the Texas Stars after finishing his season with Western Michigan.

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