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Casey Mittelstadt leaves the Gophers for a pro deal with the Buffalo Sabres

Minnesota lost Ryan Lindgren to the New York Rangers last week.

It's only been a little over a week since the Gophers hockey season ended and they've already lost their two best players and their head coach. 

First, defenseman Ryan Lindgren signed a contract with the New York Rangers. Then Don Lucia announced he was stepping down after 19 years as the head coach. Now, star forward Casey Mittelstadt has signed with the Buffalo Sabres. 

Mittelstadt, the 8th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, was an All-Big Ten freshman after scoring 11 goals while adding 19 assists in 34 games this season. 

According to The Buffalo News, whom the Gophers replace Lucia with was going to be a key factor in Mittelstadt's decision to return for his sophomore season or turn pro, so either Mittelstadt knows something everyone else doesn't or he simply chose to go pro rather than wait and see who the Gophers hire. 

Minnesota has not announced a new hire nor has the school named any finalists for the job. 

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