Gopher Coach Lucia: NY-Bound Ness Will Be Missed

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(credit: Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)

(credit: Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota defenseman Aaron Ness says he will skip his senior season and sign his pro contract with the New York Islanders.

Gophers coach Don Lucia released a statement on Wednesday saying Ness will be missed.

Lucia says Ness “was a terrific leader and you could count on him to be the hardest worker in practice and he competed hard in every game. At 20, he has a bright future ahead of him.”

Ness had two goals and 12 assists in 35 games this season for the Gophers, who were eliminated in the first round of the WCHA tournament.

He was a second-round pick of the Islanders in 2008 after starring in high school at Roseau.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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