Panthers prospect Nick Bjugstad #27 of the United States skates ahead of Germany's Ben Hufner during the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship game, December 30 2010 in Buffalo.
Nick's return [to the University of Minnesota] bucks a trend that has seen Gopher players like Phil Kessel, Stu Bickel, Kyle Okposo and Nick Leddy leave as underclassmen late in the offseason (or in Okposo's case, midseason). Instead, Minnesota returns six of its top seven scorers from college hockey's top offense last year and keeps together its top line of Bjugstad, Kyle Rau (Panthers) and Zach Budish (Nashville Predators).
Even without Bjugstad, Minnesota was considered as one of a group of preseason favorites to win the national championship in 2013. With him, however, they've risen to the top of the pack.
So that’s that. For now. As one of Florida’s A-list prospects, do you find yourself disappointed he decided against turning pro or pleased he’ll get (possibly) another full season to hone his game?