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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Gophers' Hansen signs with NHL's Columbus Bluejackets

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Gophers, Men's hockey Updated: April 12, 2012 - 5:50 PM

Jake Hansen, a 6-1, 191-pound senior forward for the Gophers, has signed a standard two-year, entry level contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Columbus drafted him in the third round of 2007 NHL draft.

Hansen, who played right wing on the second line this past season, had 16 goals, 22 assists and 38 points. He also was a plus-19. Those numbers were all career highs.

He  was an assistant captain on a Gophers team which won the MacNaughton Cup and reached the Frozen Four for the first time since 2005.

Hansen was one of the more vocal players on the team and, when the Gophers didn't play well, would openly say so. He played with a lot of energy and grit. He had 56 penalty minutes.

The story on the Bluejackets' web site is here.

Hansen flew to Springfield, Mass., on Wednesday night to join the Falcons for their last two AHL regular-season games. They play Adirondack on Friday and St. John's on Saturday.

Springfield is in  12th place out of 15 teams in the Eastern Conference of the AHL and won't make the playoffs. The Falcons are 34-34 with three OT losses and three shootout losses.

Gophers coach Don Lucia, in one of his last radio interviews of this season on Hansen: "He has had a high motor all season long. He is not one of the focal points of our offense, but his game has really rounded out this year. He is as good a penalty killers as we have had all season long."

BJUGSTAD STILL UNDECIDED

Gophers sophomore center Nick Bjugstad will probably take a while to decide if he will return for his junior year, according to a source close to him.

Bjugstad was the Florida Panthers' first-round pick in 2010, the 19th player taken overall. Team officials have told him they are ready to sign him if he want to turn pro, the same source said, but the decision is up to him.

Bjugstad has often said he enjoys playing for the Gophers and they could have another strong team next season, especially if he returns. 

The Panthers held their development camp in mid-July last season and Bjugstad attended. Could he wait until that camp to decide? Lucia would probably like to know before then.

But it's also hard to imagine Lucia pushing Bjugstad to make a decision before he is ready. And he isn't yet.

 

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