Nick Bjugstad
Image: NHL

Nick Bjugstad


Minneapolis Minnesota

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









1st round, (19th overall), 2010


215 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • B


2009-10: Nick Bjugstad played for Blaine High School in Minnesota. In 25 games, Bjugstad scored 29 goals with 31 and 60 PIM and was named Mr. Hockey as the top high school player in Minnesota. He played in 23 games for Team North West in the Minnesota High School Elite League prior to his high school season and scored 13 goals with eight assists in 23 games.

2010-11: Bjugstad bounced back from some early season struggles and a bout with mononucleosis to have a strong freshman season for the University of Minnesota. He also competed for the bronze medal-winning USA squad at the 2011 World Junior U-20 championship. In 29 games for the Gophers he scored 8 goals with 12 assists and was +1 with 51 PMs. Bjugstad played in all situations for the WCHA's fifth-place Gophers (16-14-6). Bjugstad played six games for Team USA at the WJC and scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was +2. Both of his goals were game-winners.

2011-12: Bjugstad emerged as a goal scorer in his sophomore season at Minnesota, leading the Gophers with 25 goals in 40 games, and skated for the USA at the 2012 U20 World Junior Championship. Seventeen of his goals were scored on the Gophers' power play and he also had 17 assists and was plus-21 with 28 penalty minutes. Minnesota finished first in the WCHA after struggling to stay above .500 a year earlier. After an upset loss to North Dakota in the WCHA semifinals, the Gophers returned the favor in the NCAA West Regional final to reach the Frozen Four. Bjugstad shared the team lead in goals for seventh-place Team USA at the WJC with Sharks' prospect Charlie Coyle; scoring 4 goals with 2 assists and finishing plus-three in six games.

2012-13: Bjugstad signed a three-year entry level contract with Florida in April 2013 following his junior year at Minnesota and made the jump directly from college hockey to the NHL. He also skated for the USA in the 2013 IIHF World Championship. Bjugstad made his debut with the Panthers in a game against Washington on April 6th and played in eleven games; scoring his first career goal (and only NHL point) in the season finale against Tampa Bay. He was -8 with 2 penalty minutes while averaging 15:13 minutes of ice time. Bjugstad led Minnesota with 21 goals and had 15 assists in 40 games. The Gophers tied St. Cloud State for first in the WCHA but suffered back-to-back losses in the WCHA semifinals and NCAA West Regional semifinal to end the year. He played ten games for the bronze medal-winning USA squad and was -2 with 2 assists.

Talent Analysis

Bjugstad is a physically dominating presence. His combination of strength and positional awareness with a hard, accurate shot makes him a force at both ends of the ice. Bjugstad plays with poise and he protects the puck exceptionally well in the offense zone by either skating out of trouble or simply shielding opponents with his arms and legs while he buys time to find an open teammate. He can be very difficult to knock off the puck and rarely loses battles along the boards.


Bjugstad made his professional debut late last season, and looks to continue to play at the NHL level in the fall. He has the skill-level to become a scoring line center who will be defensively responsible and who can play in any game situation. His puck skills will allow him to be a mainstay on the powerplay while his high level of hockey intelligence and work rate can also make him a key member of a penalty kill unit.

2010 NHL Draft: Franchise-record 13 selections buffs blueline, depth chart for Florida Panthers

by David Hahn
Photo: Nick Bjugstad has become a solid goal scorer, this season netting 24 markers in 72 games. (Courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: Nick Bjugstad has become a solid NHL goal scorer, this season netting 24 in 72 games. (Courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

Florida Panthers General Manager Dale Tallon amassed a staggering 13 picks for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, the most in franchise history. Although the Panthers had an abysmal 32-37-13 season, the team owned three first round picks, assuring to reinvigorate the franchise with talent and youth. After employing the likes of Bryan McCabe, Steve Reinprecht, and Cory Stillman in the twilight of their careers, Florida desperately needed impact players at key positions. Read more»

The Top 5 NHL players 25 or under wearing #27

by Ken McKenna

Nick Bjugstad - Florida Panthers

Photo: Florida Panthers forward has produced 79 points (40G, 39A) in 153 games so far in his NHL career (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

The number 27 in hockey has had a few notable names associated with it over the years. Former NHL greats Frank Mahovlich, Darryl Sittler and, more recently, Scott Niedermayer all wore that number through their storied careers, with all three finding their way to the Hockey Hall of Fame once their playing days were over. Read more»

MacKinnon tops Calder Poll for March on his way to NHL hardware

by Tony Piscotta

Nathan MacKinnon - Colorado Avalanche

Photo: Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon is the top NHL rookie in most offensive categories and has totaled 62 points in 79 games (courtesy of Dustin Bradford/Icon SMI)

The Calder Trophy race heads down the stretch and, while Tampa Bay's Ondrej Palat led all rookie scorers in the month of March, Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon has tightened his hold on the lead in the Hockey's Future monthly poll.

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Minor league system starting to bear fruit for Florida Panthers

by Brian Fogarty

Vince Trocheck - Florida Panthers

Photo: Forward Vince Trocheck is having a strong rookie pro season. Through 32 AHL games, the 20-year-old has 11 goals and 12 assists. (courtesy of Ray Carlin/Icon SMI)

The Florida Panthers currently have four players on their NHL roster who can still be considered prospects. Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad, Dylan Olsen, and Jimmy Hayes are all seeing regular shifts for Florida, and all have been effective at that level. There are also a handful of prospects at the AHL level who are either NHL-ready or not far off.

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Florida Panthers system well stocked with NHL-caliber talent

by Brian Fogarty

Nick Bjugstad - Florida Panthers

Photo: Nick Bjugstad is one of several Florida Panthers prospects who are currently playing in the NHL. Bjugstad was selected 19th overall by the Panthers in the 2010 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Juan Salas/Icon SMI)

The Florida Panthers' system remains well stocked even after the graduation of Jonathan Huberdeau and Jacob Markstrom. The organization has incredible depth and skill at center and defense, and although the goaltending depth chart looks relatively weak, it remains a solid group with a couple of players performing well in the early part of the current season.

Read more»

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