Goalie Jack LaFontaine leaving Gophers to sign NHL contract

Goalie Jack LaFontaine has signed an entry-level contract with the Carolina Hurricanes, foregoing the remainder of his college eligibility with the Gophers.

"We would like to thank Jack for his contributions to the Gophers program, and we wish him well as he begins his professional career," Gophers coach Bob Motzko said in a statement.

Carolina’s goalie system is beaten up pretty good by the injury bug. LaFontaine was selected 75th overall by the Hurricanes in the 2016 Draft.

LaFontaine has a .900 save percentage through 20 games with a 12-8 record. Last season he posted a 22-7 record with a .934 save percentage, winning the NCAA top goaltender award and finishing as a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.

Justen Close is the most experienced goalie left on the Gophers’ roster.

His entry-level deal comes with a prorated NHL salary of $750K, an AHL salary of $70K and a signing bonus of $250K.