Erik Haula, the Gophers leading scorer the past two seasons ready,, was the last one of the big four to turn pro.
I was hoping he would come back to school another season. He could have been the Gophers captain and built upon an already solid career. But he signed an entry level deal with the Wild on April 7.
And in six games with the Houston Aeros, he has no goals and two assists.
The Aeros will play the Grand Rapids Griffins in the first round of the best-of-five Western Conference quarterfinals, starting with two games in Houston. The first is Friday.
So Haula will have at least three more games with Houston before that franchise closes its doors and packs up for Des Moines, Iowa next season.
Here are the numbers of the Gophers who left early or, in one case, was a senior:
Gms G A Pts. +/-
Zach Budish,Milwaukee, AHL 9 1 3 4 +6
* Seth Helgeson, Albany, AHL 4 0 0 0 +2
Erik Haula, F, Houston, AHL 6 0 2 2 +1
Mark Alt, Adirondack, AHL 6 1 1 2 -1
Nate Schmidt, Hersey, AHL 8 1 3 4 -4
Nick Bjugstad, Florida, NHL 8 0 0 0 -6
Totals 41 3 9 12 -2
* Helgeson was the only senior, others were all juniors.
Alt's and Helgeson's teams did not make the AHL playoffs. Bjugstad's Panthers have two regular-season games left and won't make the NHL playoffs.
Budish, Haula and Schmidt are on AHL teams which will be starting the conference playoffs this weekend.
* His signing with the Wild was announced April 7.
* In 114 career games with Gophers, he had 124 points and 42 goals. He was the first Gopher since Ryan Potulny (2003-06) to finish his collegiate career with an average of more than a point a game.
* Haula, of Pori, Finland, improved his offensive numbers each season, from 24 points to 49 with 20 goals, to 51 with 35 assists.
* He was the first 50-point scorer since 2005-06.
* Picked all-WCHA second team
* Picked in seventh round, 182nd overall, of the 2009 NHL entry draft by Wild
NHL draft picks by team in Frozen Four:
5 – St. Cloud State
4 – Yale
3 – UMass Lowell
3 – Quinnipiac
Source: College Hockey, Inc.