Wild sign Gophers captain Justin Kloos

Minnesota native and Gophers senior Justin Kloos is staying in the State of Hockey.
Ann Heisenfelt/Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press

Gophers captain Justin Kloos will start his NHL career close to home.

The University of Minnesota senior signed a two-year, entry level deal with the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday, just days after the Gophers were eliminated by Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

A two-year captain, Kloos is the third Gophers senior to sign since the loss, joining defenseman Jake Bischoff (New York Islanders) and forward Vinni Lettieri (New York Rangers).

Kloos reportedly turned down offers from several teams last summer after leading the Gophers in scoring as a junior.

A native of nearby Lakeville, Kloos finished his senior season with 43 points (18) goals, trailing only star sophomore Tyler Sheehy for the team lead.

Kloos starred at Lakeville South in high school, winning Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey award in 2012, before joining the USHL.