Panthers sign Bjugstad’s former roommate, Minnesota Gophers captain Kyle Rau

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The Florida Panthers announced that Kyle Rau has agreed to an entry-level contract. The 22-year-old forward has completed his four-year stint with the University of Minnesota.

Rau was taken by the Panthers with the 91st overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Since then he’s gone on to have a very successful run with the Minnesota Gophers.

He has recorded at least 40 points in each of his NCAA campaigns, including 20 goals and 21 assists in 39 games this season. The Gophers captain is the first Minnesota player to accumulate at least 150 career points since Troy Riddle did it in 2004.

“We are very pleased to have agreed to an entry level contract with Kyle,” said Panthers GM Dale Tallon. “He played extremely well at the University of Minnesota, leading the Gophers to back-to-back Big Ten regular-season championships and four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. He is another one of our young and talented prospects who is prepared to take the next step in his hockey career.”

He also has strong ties with another promising Panthers forward in Nick Bjugstad. The two played together with Minnesota and were roommates before Bjugstad began his pro career, per the Miami Herald’s George Richards.