The National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres have announced that they have signed Minnesota State junior defenseman Casey Nelson to a NHL entry-level free agent contract.
Nelson, 23, a three-year letterwinner with Minnesota State, earned several accolades for his play in 2015-16 including Western Collegiate Hockey Association Defensive Player of the Year and All-WCHA First Team honors.
A native of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., Nelson registered six goals and 16 assists for 22 points in 40 games to rank fourth on the team scoring chart this year while leading the Mavericks in plus/minus (+15) and ranking second in assists (16).
A Two-time WCHA Defensive Player of the Week during course of this season, Nelson collected 7-26–33 to rank third on team in points last year while establishing a school mark for most points in a season by a defenseman (NCAA DI-era). He was a 2014-15 All-WCHA Second Team pick and was named to the WCHA All-Academic team in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
His 60 career points on 14 goals and 46 assists in 99 career games ranks tenth on the school’s all-time scoring by defensmen list (DI-era). Nelson finished this three years with the Mavericks with a +29 rating, along with 227 shots on goal and 127 blocked shots.
Nelson spent three seasons in the North American Hockey League (split between Johnstown and Alaska) prior to joining Minnesota State.