With the 2012-2013 season officially in the rearview mirror for the Gophers, the team now looks to its next big decision points: the early signing of players from this year's roster.
We already know that Seth Helgeson will not return next season, as the senior used up his four years of eligibility and graduated. Nothing is official yet, but it is all but certain that Nick Bjugstad (FLA) and Erik Haula (MIN) will sign with their professional teams. It's also nearly a foregone conclusion that Nate Schmidt will sign as a free-agent, foregoing his senior season.
An interesting situation to keep an eye on is that of Zach Budish. The redshirt junior and team captain already has his degree from the University, but has indicated that he wants to return for his senior season. However, the coaching staff has apparently indicated that they wouldn't mind if Budish signed with Nashville.
Gopher coach Don Lucia has stated that at the very least the team will be bringing in four new players in forwards Taylor Cammarata, Justin Kloos, Hudson Fasching and defenseman Michael Brodzinksi. Given that, it would make sense that they have been expecting the four players listed above to be exiting the program this offseason.
I, for one, hope Budish is still wearing the maroon and gold next season. As for the other three guys, I think the realistic fan should expect them to be gone and be very, very pleasantly surprised if any of them decide to stick around for another shot at the national title.