Wild Signs 5th Rounder Nick Seeler

The Minnesota Wild have signed 2011 5th round draft pick Nick Seeler to a two-year, entry-level contract, the team announced Saturday.

End of College Career

Seeler finished his third year of collegiate hockey last weekend when the University of Minnesota Gophers hopes of a NCAA tournament berth were dashed. They lost to Michigan in the Big Ten championship game.

Though the Eden Prairie, Minnesota native has had four years of eligibility pass since being drafted, he’s played just three seasons. The defenseman spent two years playing with the University of Nebraska-Omaha before deciding to transfer to the University of Minnesota. He had to red-shirt for a season due to NCAA transfer rules. He spent the year practicing with the Gophers, but not playing in games.

With the Gophers, he continued a legacy of Gopher defensemen in his family, following in the footsteps of his older sister Kelly, who is currently a defenseman with the Minnesota Whitecaps.

Through 36 games this season, Seeler had no goals and 10 assists with a team-leading plus-21 rating. His 91 blocked shots also led the team. Through his full collegiate career he played 106 games, scoring six goals and 23 assists.

He becomes the third Gopher to leave the team this week with Michael Brodzinski heading to the Sharks and Hudson Fasching signing with the Sabres (and scoring a goal in his first NHL game Saturday).

Going Pro

According to reports, Seeler was given options about signing. General Manager Chuck Fletcher told Seeler that the decision was his. The team would sign him now if he wanted to go pro, or they’d sign him next spring if that’s what he wanted, reports Michael Russo of the Star Tribune.

The Wild’s announcement says that the two-year deal will start with the 2016-17 season, making it unlikely that he makes an appearance with the AHL’s Iowa Wild here at the end of the season.

Seeler is the third player the Wild have signed this week with WCHA Player of the Year Alex Petan getting an amateur tryout (ATO) with the Iowa Wild and 2014 6th round pick Chase Lang also getting an ATO. Both made their professional debut with the Iowa Wild on Friday against the Chicago Wolves in a 3-2 loss.