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Gophers Hockey: Nick Seeler signs with Minnesota Wild

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The redshirt junior and physical defenseman gives up his final season of eligibility.

Nick Seeler (11) keeping the puck away from Minnesota Duluth's Alex Iafallo (14).
Nick Seeler (11) keeping the puck away from Minnesota Duluth's Alex Iafallo (14).
Matt Christians/SBN College Hockey

Minnesota redshirt junior defenseman Nick Seeler has signed with the Minnesota Wild, the NHL team and University announced Saturday.

Seeler, who had 10 assists in 36 games this season for the Gophers, will forgo his fifth year of eligibility. The Eden Prairie, MN native is a 2011 sixth round draft pick of the Wild.

The 6'2", 192 lbs defenseman will report to the Wild's AHL affiliate in Iowa on an amateur tryout agreement (ATO) before his two-year entry-level contract begins in 2016-17.

Seeler spent his first two seasons in college at Nebraska-Omaha before transferring to Minnesota in September 2014. The 22 year-old sat out a season before getting into the Gopher lineup.

Seeler is a physical defenseman. During the first two months this season he went for the big hits before being suspended one game for a flying elbow on St. Cloud State's Niklas Nevalainen. After that Seeler settled down with the big hits and became focused on his defensive play, playing on a pairing with Jack Glover. The Gophers led the Big Ten giving up 2.92 goals per game.

Seeler's 91 blocked shots led Minnesota and is the sixth-most in college hockey this season.

He finishes his college career with 29 points (6G-23A) in 106 games.

Seeler is the second defenseman and third member of Minnesota's 2015-16 team to reportedly depart with eligibility remaining. Hudson Fasching signed with the Buffalo Sabres earlier in the week (and scored his first NHL goal Saturday). Junior defenseman Michael Brodzinski reportedly will sign with the San Jose Sharks, the team that drafted him in 2013.

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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 --