Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/01/12 at 02:59 AM ET
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
Nick Bjugstad is not Patrick White.
While the centres are first-round NHL draft picks and products of the heavily scrutinized University of Minnesota program, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Bjugstad is coming off a 25-goal sophomore season and it’s not surprising that the Vancouver Canucks have rumoured interest in the 20-year-old as a possible return from the Florida Panthers in a Roberto Luongo trade package.
The previous regime had that level of interest in the 2007 draft when White was a surprise 25th overall selection — one pick before the St. Louis Blues took David Perron — but he never played a game for the Canucks. White never had more than nine goals in his three college seasons, was traded to the San Jose Sharks in 2009 and spent last season in the third division of the German Oberliga. It was a clear draft-day miss.
However, as much as scouts will tell you that Bjugstad is a can’t-miss prospect whose career is on fast forward, he’s rightfully returning for another season with the Golden Gophers. He has yet to complete a full NCAA season, battled a pair of injuries last season and his production dropped in the second half after 16 goals in his first 20 games.
continued plus some Doan destination talk too…
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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