By Mike Hendrickson
Minnesota defenseman Michael Brodzinski will waive his final year of college eligibility to sign a professional contract with the San Jose Sharks, his mother Kathy told the Minnesota Daily on Thursday.
Brodzinski led all Minnesota defensemen in points this season with 21 and was named to the All-Big Ten second team. Kathy Brodzinski said her son will sign his contract when he arrives in San Jose tonight.
Brodzinski joins forward Hudson Fasching as the second Minnesota player to leave school early to turn professional this week. Fasching signed a three-year deal with the Buffalo Sabres on Monday.
The San Jose Sharks drafted Brodzinski in the fifth round of the 2013 NHL draft. His brother, Jonny, was taken seven picks later by the Los Angeles Kings and currently plays for their AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign.
Kathy Brodzinski said Michael Brodzinski is scheduled to play his professional first game against his brother on Wednesday.
Michael Brodzinksi finished with 48 points in three seasons with the Gophers. He was the first defenseman in Big Ten history to record a hat trick when he did so on Jan. 23 in a 9-2 victory over Wisconsin. It was also the first hat trick for a Minnesota defenseman since 2007.
The Gophers season ended on Saturday after a 5-3 loss to Michigan in the Big Ten Championship.