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Gophers’ Zach Budish, Nick Bjugstad Sign NHL Contracts

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – For the second time in as many days, at least one University of Minnesota men’s hockey player is leaving the program for the NHL.

Zach Budish, a junior forward from Edina, will forego his senior season with the Gophers after signing a two-year contract with the Nashville Predators Wednesday morning. Budish was a second round draft pick of the Predators in 2009 and will make about $575,000 per year.

Budish missed most of his sophomore season after suffering a knee injury in a moped accident. He received a medical redshirt for that season and came back in 2011-12 to score 12 goals and record 23 assists in 43 games.

This past season, Budish scored 14 goals and recorded 22 assists. On Tuesday, Nate Schmidt signed an entry-level contract with the Washington Capitals.

Junior Nick Bjugstad, who nearly left for the NHL after his sophomore season, signed an entry-level contract Wednesday with the Florida Panthers. Bjugstad led the Gophers this year with 21 goals and 15 assists.

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