Blue Line Buzz: The Graduating Class
Blue Line Buzz: The Graduating Class

This article is part of our Blue Line Buzz series.

The Frozen Four is set. North Dakota, Boston College, Denver and Quinnipiac are the last ones standing with the final to be played April 9, coinciding with the last big day of the NHL regular season. For players whose season has already ended, the door is open for NHL squads to sign them, and as is the case almost every season, college defensemen have been a hot commodity.

Start with Minnesota State–Mankato alum Casey Nelson, who signed with Buffalo after being highly sought after by multiple teams. He made his NHL debut Saturday and collected an assist while playing on the team's third pairing. Given his strong performance and track record – 55 points and a plus-33 rating in 80 games spanning his sophomore and junior seasons – it's probably safe to say he'll be playing a few more games down the stretch. Nelson's an under-the-radar puck-moving defenseman who may provide a few points in deeper leagues.

Sticking with the Minnesota theme, the Wild are one team that often dips into its own backyard, much like the Sens do with the National Capital Region. After Nick Seeler spent two years at Nebraska-Omaha and then transferred to the University of Minnesota for this season, the Wild signed their 2011 fifth-round pick, adding a steady 6-foot-2 defenseman to their organization. However, with the team chasing a playoff spot, it wouldn't be wise to throw in such a green defenseman, even one who's already 22 years old. He'll serve as a depth

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