It's interesting who you might bump into at breakfast at an Omaha hotel.

Just had a nice 10-minute chat with an NHL scout who was at the Gophers-Nebraska Omaha series. He was impressed with the Gophers, who swept UNO 3-2 in overtime and 3-2 in regulation.

He said he does not go this far west very often. He has seen No. 1 Ferris State, a team in Big Rapids, Mich., which claimed the CCHA regular-season title this past weekend.

The scout said Ferris State is not as talented as the Gophers. The Bulldogs are a team that works hard and has a strong goalie.

The Gophers and Boston College are the two best teams he has seen, the scout said.

Who impressed you on the Gophers?

Defensemen Seth Helgeson ... he does the simple things right. (He is also 6-4.) And defenseman Mark Alt (6-3).

He also liked forward Nick Bjugstad. He might be able to make the NHL next season, he is averaging almost a goal per game, the scout said. Actually Bjugey has 23 goals in 32 games.

He said Kyle Rau was a good college player, but hard to project as a pro. Rau is 5-8, nine inches shorter than Bjugstad.

The Florida Panthers own the draft rights to both Bjugstad and Rau. Helgeson was drafted by New Jersey, Alt by Carolina.

* Wouldn't want to be an NHL scout, but sure liked his sharp-looking black luggage with a team and NHL emblems. I have a red suitcase you could find at a thrift store. Not complaining, just saying.

* Stayed in same hotel as FSN's on-air broadcasters. At least one of them was up early and on the road while I was eating breakfast. Remember the tortoise wins the race, not the hare.