Senior forward Travis Boyd, arguably the Gophers' most consistent skater this season, signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Washington Capitals the organization announced on Tuesday morning.
The two-year contract goes into effect for the 2015-2016 season, but Boyd will join the Capitals AHL affiliate the Hersey Bears this week on a tryout contract.
Boyd compiled a career-best 41 points and 19 goals in just 32 games this season, more than doubling his previous single-season goal total. Despite missing seven games with a lower-body injury, he was the team's top goal-scorer at times and led the nation with a .288 shooting percentage. His 10 power-play goals rank second in the country.
"I couldn't have asked for a better college experience over the last four years, and I will always be proud to be a Golden Gopher," Boyd said in a statement. "I'm excited to be signing with the Washington Capitals, and I'm looking forward to the next step in my hockey career."
The Hopkins native was a consistent two-way threat and logged extra ice time for the Gophers, especially late in the game. Boyd also centered an all-senior line with wings Sam Warning and Seth Ambroz that helped fuel the Gophers' second-half turnaround that secured Big Ten regular-season and tournament championships.
He earned Second Team All-Big Ten honors and was named to the All-Big Ten Tournament Team. Boyd finished his college career with 96 points (32 goals, 64 assists) in 148 games. His class won four straight regular-season conference championships, one conference tournament, played in four NCAA tournaments, appeared in two Frozen Fours and one national championship game.
"This is a great opportunity for Travis to continue his hockey career, and we certainly wish him the best," coach Don Lucia said. "Travis was a big part of our program over the last four years, and we look forward to seeing him continue to be successful at the next level."
Boyd was drafted by the Capitals in the sixth round (177th overall) of the 2011 draft. He's the third member of the senior class, joining Ambroz and Kyle Rau, to sign after the Gophers were ousted in the first round of the NCAA tournament.