Apr 3, 2013, 2:04 PM EDT
One of the most highly-touted prospects in the Florida organization is going pro.
That’s the word out of Sunrise on Wednesday as the Panthers announced they’ve signed Nick Bjugstad to an entry-level deal.
Bjugstad, 20, was Florida’s first-round pick (19th overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.
He’s spent the last three seasons with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers — scoring 46 goals over the last two seasons — and represented Team USA at the 2011 and ’12 World Junior Championships, capturing a bronze medal in ’11.
Bjugstad’s name has been a popular one in NHL circles over the last year, despite him playing collegiate hockey.
Last fall, a report surfaced that Florida was reluctant to give up Bjugstad in a potential Roberto Luongo deal, leading many to speculate that Vancouver GM Mike Gillis had requested the 6-foot-6, 215-pound forward in any Luongo-related trade.
It’s possible that Florida will bring Bjugstad straight to the NHL for some seasoning, though they could opt to send him straight to AHL San Antonio.
- NHL on NBCSN: Capitals fight to earn first win vs. Penguins in 26 months 1
- Vanquished: Isles stun Canucks with seven-goal third period 19
- Peverley asked to return to game following ‘cardiac event’ 22
- Peverley hospitalized, conscious after collapsing on Stars bench (Update) 15
- Sens’ Ceci won’t return after Weber’s shot lacerates his ear (Update) 8
- Gillis pleads his case: ‘We are enduring a challenging period’ 23
- Nolan gets a game for punching ‘unsuspecting’ Joensuu 38
- It doesn’t sound like 3-on-3 overtime is going to be a thing 38
- Blues finish night on top of NHL standings after shootout win 15
- Kings’ Nolan gets double-minor for punching Oilers’ Joensuu 54
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (70)
- Report: Flyers table ‘substantial offer’ for Kesler, also inquiring about Edler (59)