Bulldogs lose Anderson to Kings; Wolff set to return
DULUTH — The back-to-back national champions from Minnesota Duluth lost a second player early to the NHL on Tuesday, April 23, when the Los Angeles Kings announced they signed sophomore defenseman Mikey Anderson to a three-year, entry-level contract.
The 19-year-old Anderson, who turns 20 in May, is a 2017 fourth-round draft pick of the Kings, taken 103rd overall that year. By signing, he gives up his final two seasons of NCAA eligibility, just as his older brother, Joey, did a year ago when he left UMD after his sophomore season to sign with the New Jersey Devils.
Mikey Anderson went from five goals and 18 assists as a freshman on the 2017-18 national champion Bulldogs to six goals and 21 assists on this year’s squad that became the first school to repeat as NCAA champs since Denver in 2004 and 2005.
Anderson played a role in all three UMD goals in the championship win over Massachusetts in Buffalo, N.Y., a week and a half ago, tallying a goal and two assists in the 3-0 victory.
Those three points were part of a nation-best 14 in March and April for Anderson, who was named the national player of the month for those months by the Hockey Commissioners Association.
Junior wing Riley Tufte, a 2016 first-round draft pick of the Dallas Stars, signed an entry-level contract last week, giving up his senior season of eligibility.
Bulldogs junior defenseman Nick Wolff said via text message that he will be returning for his senior season.
An undrafted free agent who could have left early to sign anywhere, Wolff is coming off a plus-19 season that included a career-best 18 points off five goals and 13 assists. The native of Eagan, Minn., is one of four Bulldogs to ever take a shift in three Frozen Fours. With two of the four graduating — Parker Mackay and Billy Exell — and Tufte leaving early, Wolff could be the first Bulldog to go four-for-four in Frozen Fours.
Wolff, an assistant captain this year, has been the elder statesman and leader of what has been a young but productive Bulldogs blue line the past two years. Wolff was a sophomore playing alongside five freshmen a year ago. That quintet returned in 2018-19.
UMD already has lost one of those five sophomores in Anderson. Neither Scott Perunovich (St. Louis Blues 2018 second-round pick) nor Dylan Samberg (Winnipeg Jets 2017 second-rounder) have indicated publicly yet whether they will return or sign NHL contracts.
Mackay signs AHL deal
Bulldogs outgoing senior captain Parker Mackay has signed a one-way, American Hockey League contract with the Texas Stars after guiding the Bulldogs to back-to-back national championships.
Mackay said he will be attending the Dallas Stars’ NHL development camp this summer and will be at Dallas’ training camp prior to the season.
“They gave me an opportunity and explained where I’d be at. I’ll have to work for everything but I’m excited for the opportunity to prove myself,” Mackay said.
Mackay, a native of Irma, Alberta, was an alternate captain in 2017-18 when the Bulldogs beat Notre Dame in St. Paul and wore the ‘C’ this season when UMD dominated Massachusetts for a second consecutive NCAA title.
Named UMD’s Outstanding Male Senior Athlete this week, Mackay led the Bulldog in goals (16) and points (33) this season. He had four goals — including two game-winners — in the NCAA tournament this year and was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Frozen Four.