Minnesota Duluth lost goalie Kasimir Kaskisuo early to pro contract earlier this week, but has received some promising news regarding next year's team. Two junior players that potentially could have signed NHL contracts have instead opted to return for their senior season.
On Wednesday, defenseman Carson Soucy announced that he would return for his senior season, rather than signing with the Minnesota Wild. Soucy had 3-9-12 in 38 games from the blue line for the Bulldogs last season. The Wild had selected Soucy 137th overall in the 2013 NHL Draft. We ranked Soucy as the 79th-best best NHL prospect in the NCAA this season.
On Friday, junior forward Dominic Toninato also announced that he will return for his final year, rather than signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs:
Confirmed via text, Dominic Toninato will return for his senior season in 2016-17. His rights are owned by @MapleLeafs.— Matt Wellens (@mattwellens) April 1, 2016
Toninato scored 15-6-21 in 40 games this season. We ranked Toninato as the 44th-best NHL prospect in the NCAA this season.
This was likely a wise decision by both players. Minnesota Duluth's struggles through the early part of the season were in large part mirrored by their own struggles. A successful final year could give them more leverage and put them in much better position to start their pro careers.