Nick Bjugstad: The Big Bad Gopher


Nick Bjugstad has grown into a dominate College Hockey Player. Photo Source: Mark Mulville/ Buffalo News

Nick Bjugstad currently plays for the University of Minnesota. At the age of 19 years old, this 6’5 211 pound sophomore center is currently dominating college hockey headlines, and hopes to continue his growth as the season carries on.
Nick was drafted in the 2010 draft 19th overall by the Florida Panthers. He spent the offseason here in South Florida training during the developmental training camp for rookies.
Nick is certainly not a shy player by any means when it comes to popularity. He was named the Minnesota Mr. Hockey Player Award, which is given to the most outstanding senior hockey player in the state of Minnesota. He has played for Team USA on numerous occasions so the spotlight seems to always shine brightest when it’s on him.
When asked who his game is compared to he simply said:
“I know my size helps and my long reach, but I’m going to keep working,” he said. “I’ve always admired guys like Saku Koivu and Joe Thornton — I think I play a similar style to those guys. With my size, I’m more of a power forward so I want to use my body to reach that upper level.”
Although last season may have seemed like a very good season by anyone’s standards, Nick knew he could’ve done better. He registered 8 goals and 12 assists in 29 games as a freshman. When asked how he has grown over the past season he answered:
You have to be dialed in every game. You cannot take anyone lightly because everyone in our league is good.
Certainly a positive thing to say considering he is still only a sophomore.
So far this season he has done nothing but impress the entire hockey world. Nick has become the face of Minnesota hockey and has shown that he is truly a NHL caliber player. Thru 14 games Nick has already surpassed last seasons’ totals. He currently has 13 goals, 3 of which came in his last game against St. Cloud State (his first career hat trick) and has 8 assists. Do the math, he has 21 points thru 14 games, which is tied for the lead in all College Division I hockey.
No player has been hotter than Nick Bjugstad so far and it certainly seems that if Bjugstad can stay healthy he’ll be competing for a spot on the Florida Panthers next season. Nick Bjugstad is just one of numerous players that are playing excellent hockey at either the collegiate level and junior hockey level that are in the Florida Panthers system. The future certainly looks bright for this towering 19 year old.
Click here to view Nick Bjugstad and the Minnesota Hockey Team highlights from there 5-0 dismantling of St. Cloud State

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Tags: College Hockey Florida Panthers Minnesota Gophers Nick Bjugstad