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Gophers Hockey: Seth Ambroz signs ATO with Springfield (AHL)

The University of Minnesota senior finished his four year career with 40 goals and 30 assists in 159 games.

Gopher Athletics

Seth Ambroz is staying in the Northeast for now.

Less than 24 hours after scoring the lone goal in Minnesota's 4-1 loss to Minnesota Duluth in the Northeast Region semifinal, Ambroz has signed an amateur tryout contract (ATO) with Springfield (AHL).

"We certainly wish Seth the best as he takes the next step in his hockey career and thank him for his contributions to Gopher Hockey," Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said in a statement released by the University. "Like all of our seniors, Seth was a great leader for us and an integral part of the success we've had here at Minnesota over the last four years."

Ambroz is the first Minnesota player from the 2014-15 team to sign with a professional club after the season. The senior had 12 goals and 11 assists for the Gophers this year while wearing an "A" on his sweater. He finished his four year career at Minnesota with 70 points (40G-30A) in 159 games.

"It's been special. Growing up watching the Gophers, I've always wanted to play for them and that's the dream as a kid," Ambroz told SB Nation College Hockey a couple weeks ago about wearing the "M" these past 4 years. "Just to have that as a reality is so special. Just to be a part of this tradition and this program is a dream come true."

He is a 6'3", 217 lbs forward that isn't afraid to play a physical game. Ambroz will look for hits and set up in front of the net. The New Prague, MN native spent much of the year on a line with fellow senior Travis Boyd in which the duo helped engineer a late season turnaround for Minnesota.

Ambroz, a 2011 5th round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets, will end the year the team's AHL affiliate. He is one of three Gophers whose rights are owned by Columbus. Another player, junior defenseman Mike Reilly, will have to decide between returning to school, going pro with the Blue Jackets or testing free agency waters.

In other Minnesota players in the pros news, Nick Bjugstad's breakout season is over after undergoing back surgery. He finishes the year with 24 goals and 19 assists in 72 games for the Florida Panthers. Classmate Mark Alt, meanwhile, made his NHL debut Saturday against San Jose. Playing for the Philadelphia Flyers, Alt is the 17th Gopher player to suit up in the NHL this season.

Updated 5:00 p.m. CT with Lucia statement.

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Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation mostly covering both the University of Minnesota and Big Ten. You can also follow him on Twitter --