From: Fox Sports North
by Brian Hall
Two are former Minnesota Mr. Hockey winners, the third might have been able to take home the same trophy if it weren't for an injury. All three players were selected in the top three rounds of the NHL draft and were among the top high school recruits in the country their senior seasons.
Zach Budish, Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau ended up together with the Minnesota Gophers men's hockey team. When Minnesota started practicing this season, coach Don Lucia decided the trio best fit on the same line.
Now that they are together, the Budish, Bjugstad and Rau aren't thinking about being split up — at least not yet.
"We just want to focus on this, what we have at hand," said Rau, the freshman left wing. "If things go well here, other things will play out for us."
Together, the three have formed one of the top lines in all of college hockey and helped the Gophers return to prominence as the No. 2 ranked team in the country heading into this weekend's series at No. 14 Denver. Minnesota (19-9-1, 15-5-0 WCHA) also leads the conference with 30 points.
Rau is the speedy newcomer, slight in stature at just 5-foot-8 and 172 pounds, but he's made his mark with 13 goals and 14 assists in his first 27 college games. Rau's plus-19 rating is sixth in the country. Bjugstad is the big sophomore center with the bigger numbers. The 6-foot-5, 211-pounder is second in the nation with 21 goals to go with 12 assists. Budish, the redshirt sophomore right wing, is the surprise veteran leader as an assistant captain with six goals and 16 assists.
"It's fun playing with guys as skilled as they are," said Budish, who suffered a knee injury playing football and missed the entire his entire senior hockey season at Edina High School.
"They are good defensively and they play an all-around game. Obviously they put up a lot of points. That's what most people notice. We do things that don't show up. Kyle blocks a bunch of shots. Nick's phenomenal on faceoffs…I think those guys bring other things to the table other than scoring" [read entire article].