Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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13 players who will be in WCHA this season taken in NHL draft

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under WCHA news Updated: June 25, 2012 - 11:52 PM

Thirteen players who have signed with WCHA teams were taken in the 2012 NHL draft last weekend in Pittsburgh, according to a conference news release. Four will be sophomores this season, the others freshmen.

Wisconsin and Nebraska Omaha had the most players taken, three apiece, Michigan Tech had two and five teams, including the Gophers had one. Shut out were Alaska Anchorage, Bemidji State, Minnesota Duluth and St. Cloud State.

The list:

Round 1

North Dakota: defenseman Jordan Schmaltz by the St. Louis Blues, with pick No. 25 ... He is from Verona, Wis., and played for the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL

Gophers: defenseman Brady Skjei by the New York Rangers, No. 28. ... He played high school hockey at Lakeville North before joining the U.S. national development team in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Round 2

Wisconsin:  forward Nicolas Kerdiles by the Anaheim Ducks,  No. 36. ... He is from Irvine, Calif., and a teammate of Skjei's in Ann Arbor

                      sophomore defenseman Jake McCabe by the Buffalo Sabres, No. 44. ... He is from Eau Claire, Wis., and also played on the U.S. national team.

Nebraska Omaha:  goalie Anthony Stolarz by the Philadelphia Flyers, No. 45. ... He is from Jackson, N.J., and played for Corpus Christi of the NAHL

Minnesota State: forward Teddy Blueger by Pittsburgh Penguins, No. 52. ... He is from Riga, Latvia and played for Shattuck-St. Mary’s Prep.

Round 3

Michigan Tech: forward Jujhar Khaira by the Edmonton Oilers, No. 63. ... He is from Surrey, British Columbia, and played for Prince George of the BCHL

Round 5

Denver: sophomore defenseman Joey LaLeggia,  the league’s rookie of the year and an all-WCHA first team pick,  by the Edmonton Oilers

Nebraska Omaha:  defenseman Brian Cooper by the Anaheim Ducks, No. 127. He is from Anchorage, Alaska and played for the Fargo Force of the USHL

Wisconsin: sophomore forward Brendan Woods by the Carolina Hurricanes, No. 129. ... He is from Fairfax, Va., and played for Muskegon of the USHL.

Round 6

Colorado College: forward Hunter (Samuel) Fejes by Phoenix Coyotes, No. 178. ... He is from Anchorage, Alaska, and played for Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep.

Round 7

Michigan Tech: goalie Jamie Phillips by the Winnipeg Jets, No. 190. ... He is from Caledonia, Ontario, and played for Toronto JC.

Nebraska Omaha: sophomore defenseman Jaycob Megna by the Anaheim Ducks, No. 210. .. He is from Northbrook, Ill., and played for Cedar Rapids of the USHL.


The Wild picked junior forward Louie Nanne of Edina in the seventh round. And Nanne's grandson has committed to the Gophers, so why isn't he on the list?

Good question. Easy to answer. Nanne has not signed with the Gophers yet. So the U can't say anything about him and he could change his mind without any repercussions.

He could sign with the Gophers during  the early signing period in the fall, Nov. 14-21. During his senior year of high school, Nanne will play at Penticton of the British Columbia Hockey League.

Three other players who have committed to WCHA schools, but will play in the USHL this coming season, also were drafted. They are:

Gophers: Grand Rapids defenseman Jake Bischoff was taken by the NY Islanders in the seventh round, No. 185. He will play for Omaha.

Minnesota Duluth: Duluth East forward Dom Toninato was taken by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the fifth round, No. 126. He will play for Fargo.

St. Cloud State: Duluth Marshall forward Judd Peterson was taken by the Buffalo Sabres in the seventh round, No. 204. He will play for Cedar Rapids.


Nick Bjugstad will be going to the Florida Panthers prospects camp in Coral Springs, Fla., from July 1-7. It is held at an arena called the Iceplex -- the name rolls off your tongue, doesn't it?

The Iceplex has three NHL-size rinks, a training center, etc.

Hearing that Bjugstad might make his decision -- to sign with the Panthers or return to the Gophers -- after the camp. Sounds plausible.

Hockey's Future, a website which calls itself the No. 1 online prospects resource, rated Bjugstad as the Panthers' No. 3 prospect.

Bjugstad, a 6-5 center, led the Gophers in goals last season with 25. He turns 20 on July 17.



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