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Panthers sign ’10 first-rounder Bjugstad to entry-level deal

Apr 3, 2013, 2:04 PM EDT

Nick Bjugstad

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.

  1. rsl22 - Apr 3, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Nick Bjugstad is an American? Sounds like a Swede. Or Norwegian. I’m bored.

    • ignath - Apr 3, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      Or a Minnesotan? Lots of us Minnies still have Scandanavian sounding last names…

    • rsmaggiemae - Apr 3, 2013 at 8:47 PM

      I am from Minnesota and the Panthers are very, very lucky to have drafted Bjustad.
      He is 6’6″ 230 lbs and a fantastic player for the Gophers.
      He probably is a Swede or a Norwegian as we have many of them here in Minnesota along with the Finlanders… like Haula… Koivu. Backstrom, Granland….

      I wanted the Wild to trade for Bjustad but I knew the Panthers would never give him up they have been waiting for him to finish with college..
      He will be a super star in a year or two, no doubt.
      Sorry you are bored with scandanavian people… and I am not one of them. but he is a fantastic player…. you probably dont know a thing about him as a player so read up on his career as a Gopher

      • rsl22 - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:56 AM

        I was bored with a boring trade deadline.

        Also, Florida will manage to screw him up just as they do with every other player they draft.

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