Freshmen Spotlight: Nick Bjugstad

The biggest name and as well as the biggest player in this year's freshmen class is 6-foot-4, 204-pound Blaine native, Nick Bjugstad.

Forward Nick Bjugstad is the crowned jewel of Don Lucia's incoming freshmen class. Bjugstad is the type of high-profile athlete that the Gophers seem to attract year in and year out.

Bjugstad is young player who just turned 18 in July. He graduated from Blaine High School early to accelerate his progression as a hockey player.

Last season, Bjugstad was nothing short of dominant for the Bengals. In just 30 games, he had an amazing 35 goals and 34 assists for 69 points.

Bjugstad's most dominant game came against Anoka where he tallied two goals and five assists. Bjugstad's amazing season as well as his size and potential made him the 19th overall pick by the Florida Panthers in June's NHL Draft.

Fans should expect big things from Bjugstad this season. Bjugstad has the size and skating ability to instantly be a great player for the Gophers. At 6-foot-4, Bjugstad is part of a hefty freshmen class.

Bjugstad will be able to use his size to stay on his skates in traffic and become a force in front of the net.

Being a long player, he has an excellent reach and has great puck handling that allows him to maneuver around defenders with ease.

One of the most noticeable things about Bjugstad is his shot. Throughout his high school career, he had no trouble letting the puck fly.

He possesses a wicked wrist shot that is amazingly accurate. Bjugstad can also wind up for a monstrous slapshot that blows right past goalies.

Expect Bjugstad to score a fair amount of goals this season in a variety of ways and make the Gophers a much better team. If Bjugstad sticks around for more than one year, he could easily become a dominant player in the WCHA.

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