University of Minnesota goaltender and Penticton Vees alum Mat Robson will be staying in the state of hockey for a few more weeks as he became the latest BCHL grad to sign a pro deal upon completing his college season, inking a two-year entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild on Monday.
Since joining the Golden Gophers last year, Robson has been a standout goaltender in the Big Ten. The 22-year-old from Mississauga, Ont. owned a record of 14-11-4 this season and boasted the third-highest save percentage (.920) in the conference as well as the fourth-best goals-against average (2.81). He’s currently nominated for Big Ten Goalie of the Year.
After a series of unfortunate setbacks before he started his NCAA career, including a serious injury caused by a teammate’s skate-blade in practice, Robson told Wild.com that the he leaned on his family to keep him going.
“It makes it all worth it,” he said. “All the pain and the hard times. I’ve got to thank my mom and my dad for keeping my spirits up through some of those years and telling me ‘you’re going to come back.’ Just going through all of it made me…realize how much hockey means to me. It’s made me who I am.”
Robson will remain in the NHL for the rest of the season, learning the ropes from Wild goaltenders Devan Dubnyk and Alex Stalock. It’s expected that he will join the AHL’s Iowa Wild next year and compete for the starting job.
“You want to go somewhere you can grow,” he said. “I’m looking forward to just diving right into things and learning as much as I can this year.”
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound netminder spent the 2016-17 season playing in Penticton where he posted a 35-13-1 record and backstopped the Vees to a Fred Page Cup title. He ended the season with the second-best save percentage at .930 and the second-lowest goals-against average at 1.94, which is the ninth-best single-season mark in BCHL history. He also led the league with six shutouts, tying him for fourth-most in any season.