Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Blueger signs, Nelson next?

Pittsburgh Penguins photo
As expected, Minnesota State's Teddy Blueger, who just finished his final college season, has signed a professional deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team that drafted him in the second round (52nd overall) in 2012.

Blueger's two-year, entry-level contract begins next season, according to the Penguins' press release, and will finish this season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League, with whom he signed an amateur tryout contract for the rest of the season.

A Riga, Latvia, native who played at Faribault's Shattuck-St. Mary's before coming to Minnesota State, Blueger , 21, led MSU in scoring with 35 points and in assists with 24 helpers. Seven of his 11 goals were game-winners. He was a first-team All-WCHA pick. Blueger finished his MSU career with 108 points in 155 games. Thirteen of his 31 goals were game-winners.

Meanwhile, Blueger's teammate Casey Nelson could be the next MSU player to sign. The junior defenseman is planning on forgoing his senior season to sign with an NHL team. After the Mavericks' season ended on Saturday, there were rumblings that Nelson was listening to multiple NHL offers, and he confirmed Monday that was indeed true and that a signing could be imminent. Stay tuned.

For more on the end of MSU's season and a peek at next year, check out my Free Press story here. I also have a column on the WCHA Final Five and the future of conference tournaments.

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