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IFallsRon

Wheeler leaving Gophers

18 posts in this topic

Junior center Blake Wheeler notified the University of Minnesota today that he has withdrawn from school to pursue a career in professional hockey.

The 6-4 Wheeler, a graduate of Breck School in Golden Valley, led the Gophers in scoring this past season with 15 goals and 20 assists for 35 points. He was drafted in the first round of the 2004 NHL draft by Phoenix. The Coyotes now have 30 days to sign him. After that he becomes a free agent.

“Blake is an outstanding student, person and hockey player,” said Gophers coach Don Lucia in a news release. “He was a leader on our team both on and off the ice and we will certainlly miss Blake’s contribution to the program. We are excited for the future in front of him and there is no question that he will have a long career in the NHL.”

Lucia had expected Wheeler to leave early. He is the ninth Minnesota to leave the program with eligibility remaining since the end of the 2005-06 season.

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He won't be missed. Good luck to him. He could be a good player if he would play with an attitude all the time.

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I disagree FT. On a team with not a whole lot of offensively skilled players, he will be missed. Yes, some nights he didn't "bring it" as much as other nights, but his scoring numbers will be missed. Best of luck in Cactusland, Blake.

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I'm surprised it took this long. He was fun to watch when he was on his game.

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15 goals, 20 assists and a minus 3 rating. Stoa will pick that up and the freshmen class they have coming in is pretty good at both ends of the ice.

The FAN just said Wheeler graduates this year. Completed his schooling in 3 years. I knew he was smart but that is pretty good as a student/athelete.

Also Nick Larson might return to hockey this year and play for the Gophers after being injured his senior year at Hill a year ago just before the state tourney.

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Wheeler was fun to watch...big fella who could move! Good luck to him. I think his style will fit he NHL well.

I have a hard time believing that Nick Larson will do anything worthwhile. What was his reason for bailing on last season? Did he even play anywhere in the past year?

The Gophers have a few good freshman coming in. I'm looking forward to seeing what Jordan Schroeder (sp??), Michael Dorr, and the other young guys can add to the team.

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I was reading in the paper this morning that he rejected the contract offer and is now a free agent, what do you guys think the odd's the Wild could sign this guy?

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If he signs with the Wild, I hope he likes playing in the minors because they have alot of player that are better then him already playing there. What does he think he is going to get? He didn't really do that much at the U. Don't get me wrong, when he puts forth the effort he is good, but he seams to take nights and shifts off.

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Anyone think this could turn in to another Rick Rickert story??? Guy leaves early and never makes it the the bigs...

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He is young, 21/22 maybe. If I remember right he didn't start play hockey until he was 14? It will be interesting.

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Or another crawley they said he would have a great career in the NHL. I think I seen him working at the carwash last week..

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Anyone else surprised that Wheeler actually made the final roster of the Bruins as a rookie???

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No not at all he's got size skill and potential in spite of what the frustrated Gophers/WCHA fans want to believe!

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I was only surprised with the work ethic he appeared to have with the Gopher's. I could never understand why a kid with his size, speed and talent seemed to play down to the levels of those around him. Kind of like Drew Stafford, a few moments of giving it 110% interspersed with his regular 80% efforts. Good luck to him, maybe he will finally get his attitude straightened out.

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Did you guys see his awesome goal tonight for the Bruins. He and Kessel each got a goal.

I love having the VS channel. My wife is trying to get rid of it.

Hester

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