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CHN: Panthers prospect Bjugstad "more than a scorer"

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From College Hockey News: "In a time where many top picks that choose the college route spend one or two years on campus, the expectation is that a player with the size, skating ability and skill of Bjugstad will leave. Instead, he decided to return to the Gophers for one more season and in the process raised expectations for both the team and himself. Whether those expectations were fair can be debated. For many, however, anything short of Bjugstad, who scored 25 goals as a sophomore, dominating college hockey and leading Minnesota to a national title would be a disappointment." More from our pal Nathan Wells on Florida's 2010 first-rounder above.

Link: MayorsManor speaks with Panthers 2010 first-rounder Nick Bjugstad

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Good stuff from The Mayor: Q: Going back to the draft, you were taken by Florida. However, you haven't been able to spend much time with the Panthers organization because unlike most other clubs, they didn't hold a summer camp for rookies this year. Did they give you any reason why? Bjugstad: They said that with hiring a new GM this summer they just didnt have time to line things up. They have a rookie camp coming up in September, but obviously the college guys won't be able to attend that session. They're going to have one next summer though, they just took this year off. Lots more on Florida's second pick (19th overall) - including an Ivan Drago reference - above.

Panthers' Nick Bjugstad on 2010-11 Gophers roster

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From MnDaily.com's Derek Wetmore: Bjugstad was selected 19th overall in the 2010 NHL draft by the Florida Panthers after winning Minnesota's Mr. Hockey Award while playing at Blaine High School. Scouts have said that he possesses the size, speed and offensive skill to be a high-level forward in the NHL. Bjugstad will be a great addition to the Gophers, but how long will he stay?

Panthers' Birkholz leaves Gophers for WHL amid "rules violations" - UPDATED

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From BTN's Neate Sager: Make what you will of a report (Josh) Birkholz, 19, who was facing a suspension at Minnesota for violating team rules, "allegedly failed multiple drug tests this summer." That means he is going to the WHL with some questions about character, which the Silvertips would surely have heard about (...) It's not something any firm conclusions can be drawn from. No one is so naive to think 19-year-old elite hockey players are exempt from youthful indiscretions; just look at what happened at Notre Dame recently. The main point of mentioning it is to pass on word of an element of the story that might have been underplayed in WHL circles(.) Birkholz, 19, was Florida's third round pick in 2009 (acquired in the Bouwmeester trade from CGY). More above, with links. Update: Clarification from Birkholz regarding the matter.

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