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Gophers goalie Jack LaFontaine signs with Hurricanes

LaFontaine will forgo his remaining eligibility to start his professional career.
Jack LaFontaine

The Minnesota Golden Gophers men's hockey team announced on Sunday that goaltender Jack LaFontaine has signed his entry-level contract with the Carolina Hurricanes.

The fifth-year senior will forgo his remaining eligibility to start his professional career, leaving the Gophers with plenty of inexperience between the pipes.

LaFontaine was a third-round pick by the Hurricanes in the 2016 NHL Draft but chose to honor his commitment at Minnesota. He thrived in net for the Gophers, winning the Mike Richter Award as the nation's top goaltender last season.

Although he negotiated with the Hurricanes over the summer, LaFontaine elected to return to the Gophers. In 20 games for Minnesota this season, he's posted a 12-8 record, 2.69 goals against average, .900 save percentage and one shutout.

"We would like to thank Jack for his contributions to the Gophers program," Gophers head coach Bob Motzko said in a statement. "We wish him well as he begins his professional career."

LaFontaine's departure leaves a big question mark in the net as Minnesota will turn to junior Justin Close and freshman Brennan Boynton.

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