Gophers netminder Wilcox turns pro

Adam Wilcox was originally drafted by Tampa Bay in the sixth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He finished his Minnesota Gophers career second all-time in shutouts among goalies, along with an impressive 2.09 goals against average and a 73-26-14 record.

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Gophers men’s hockey team endured its second early departure of the day Wednesday when goalie Adam Wilcox signed a pro contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Wilcox, who just completed his junior season, joined defenseman Brady Skjei as the second Minnesota player to turn pro a year early following the conclusion of the 2014-15 season. Wilcox will skate with the Syracuse Crunch, the Lightning’s American Hockey League affiliate.

The South St. Paul, Minn., native leaves the University of Minnesota as one of the most decorated goalies in recent Gophers history. As a sophomore last season he was named both the Big Ten Player of the Year and Goaltender of the Year after posting a 1.97 goals against average and a 26-6-6 record.

Wilcox’s junior campaign this year didn’t yield quite as impressive numbers, but he had a GAA of 2.42 and six shutouts, tied for second-most in the nation.

Wilcox was originally drafted by Tampa Bay in the sixth round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. He went on to start 38 games as a freshman and finished his Gophers career second all-time in shutouts among goalies, along with an impressive 2.09 GAA and a 73-26-14 record. Since Wilcox took over as the team’s starter early during the 2012-13 season, Minnesota has used a different goalie in just seven total games over the last two years.

"I wouldn’t trade my college experience here at the University of Minnesota for anything, and I am incredibly honored to have been a part of this program," Wilcox said in a statement. "Growing up in Minnesota, I always wanted to be a Gopher, and wearing the ‘M’ has been one of the best experiences in my life."

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