Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Justin Kloos signs with Minnesota Wild

Minnesota forward Justin Kloos in Nov 2016

The Minnesota Wild announced Wednesday that the team signed University of Minnesota senior forward Justin Kloos to a two year, entry-level contract that begins in 2017-18. He will spend the rest of the season with the Iowa Wild (AHL) on an amateur tryout agreement.

Kloos, who went undrafted, had his choice of teams and went the Wild, with whom he attended prospect development camp this past summer. He ended 2016-17 with a career-high 18 goals and 43 points in 38 games.

“Playing hockey at the University of Minnesota has meant the world to me, and I can’t say thank you enough to everyone who has supported us over the last four years,” Kloos said in a statement released by the University. “It’s been an unforgettable ride, and I’m so thankful I was able to share it with my teammates, our fans and everybody that shares our passion for this program.”

Serving as team captain each of the past two seasons, the 5'9, 182 lbs center finished his Gopher career with 150 points in 155 games. The Lakeville, MN native never missed a game. In Don Lucia's 18 years behind the Minnesota bench only Troy Riddle and Kyle Rau finished their college careers with more points than Kloos.

As a freshman Kloos led the team with 16 goals as Minnesota won the Big Ten regular season (its first of four straight) and advance to the national championship game.

Kloos joins former Gopher teammates Nick Seeler and Mike Reilly on the Iowa Wild, along with fellow Minnesota alum Jordan Schroeder. Reilly, fellow Iowa prospect Mario Lucia and him all played on the youth team growing up in the Twin Cities area.

The contract Kloos signed with his hometown team is a two-way contract for two years and $1.4 million, according to Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Kloos is the third person in Minnesota's 2016-17 senior class to sign a NHL contract following Vinni Lettieri with the New York Rangers and Jake Bischoff with the New York Islanders.

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