Passed over in the NHL Draft once before, new Nashville Predators prospect Rem Pitlick did not go undrafted in his second year of eligibility.
Pitlick was one of two players committed to play college hockey at Minnesota selected Saturday, going one round after defenseman Ryan Lindgren. This year is the 42nd time in 43 drafts at least one Gopher was chosen.
The 2016 NHL Draft was held Friday and Saturday in Buffalo.
For the fourth straight year no Gopher heard his name during Friday's round 1, but Lindgren did not have to wait long Saturday. He was selected 49th overall by the Boston Bruins in the second round. The 6'0", 196 Lindgren, who captained Team USA at this year's U-18 World Championships, brings with him solid skating and defensive awareness.
He was the first player with Gopher ties chosen by the Bruins since Phil Kessel in 2006.
Pitlick's journey to being the 200th player in Minnesota history drafted when the Predators used the 76th pick in the third round on him went through almost as many twists and turns as the six teams that had his pick at one point or another.
(Fittingly the 200th Minnesota pick came on a selection that was originally from the Minnesota Wild. Nashville picked it up via Florida [trading it for Jaromir Jagr], New Jersey, Anaheim, and Buffalo, who traded it to the Predators for the rights to Jimmy Vesey earlier this week.)
Rem, the son of former Minnesota and NHLer Lance Pitlick, went from Shattuck-St. Mary's to Muskegon (USHL) after the Lumberjacks acquired him from Waterloo. He grew in size from 5'3" when he committed. Playing 2015-16 for Muskegon, the 19 year-old forward led the USHL in both goals (46) and points (89). Pitlick is listed at 5'9" and pans out to be a four-year college player when he makes it on campus.
The Predators, meanwhile, chose a Minnesota-bound player in the third round for the second straight season after selecting Tommy Novak in 2015.
Pitlick and Lindgren are two of 11 Minnesota natives selected during the 2016 NHL Draft.Two - Kieffer Bellows (Edina) and Riley Tufte (Blaine) - went in the first round for the first time since 2010. Bellows, who will play his college hockey at Boston University, was chosen by the New York Islanders with the 18th overall pick. Dallas selected Tufte, headed to Minnesota Duluth, seven picks later.
Four players with University of Minnesota ties were drafted in 2015, including incoming Gopher defenseman Ryan Zuhlsdorf.
Gophers Drafted By NHL Teams:
Ryan Lindgren (2016 2nd Round, 49th Overall), Boston Bruins
Rem Pitlick (2016 3rd Round, 76th Overall), Nashville Predators
Brent Gates Jr. (2015 3rd Round, 80th Overall), Anaheim Ducks)
Tommy Novak (2015 Round, 85th Overall), Nashville Predators
Ryan Zuhlsdorf (2015 5th Round, 150th Overall), Tampa Bay Lightning)
Jack Sadek (2015 7th Round, 204th Overall), Minnesota Wild
Ryan Collins (2014 2nd Round, 47th Overall), Columbus Blue Jackets
Jack Glover (2014 3rd Round, 69th Overall), Winnipeg Jets
Steve Johnson (2014 4th Round, 120th Overall), Los Angeles Kings)
Jack Ramsey (2014 7th Round, 208th Overall), Chicago Blackhawks
Taylor Cammarata (2013 3rd Round, 76th Overall), New York Islanders
Jake Bischoff (2012 7th Round, 185th Overall), New York Islanders
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 -- Follow @gopherstate