Travis Boyd signs with Capitals

by Ben Gotz

Mr. Boyd is going to Washington.

Senior forward Travis Boyd became the third Gophers senior to sign a professional contract on Tuesday, when the Washington Capitals announced they signed Boyd to a two-year, entry-level contract. Boyd will report to the Hershey Bears of the AHL on a tryout agreement.

"I couldn't have asked for a better college experience over the last four years, and I will always be proud to be a Golden Gopher," Boyd said in a release. "I'm excited to be signing with the Washington Capitals, and I'm looking forward to the next step in my hockey career."

Despite missing time for the first time in his hockey career with injuries, the Hopkins native posted career numbers in his final campaign at Minnesota. In 32 games the senior ranked third on the team with 41 points (19 goals, 22 assists), and was selected to the Big Ten's second team.

The four-time letterwinner centered the team's all-senior line of himself, Sam Warning and Seth Ambroz and was also known for his ability on the power-play and as a penalty killer. His senior year, Boyd led the Gophers with 10 power-play goals.

Boyd's college career got off to a slow start, but he became a breakout player his junior and senior campaigns. In 148 career games at Minnesota, Boyd totaled 96 points (32 goals, 64 assists), and helped the Gophers to four straight conference titles, four straight NCAA tournament appearances and two Frozen Fours.

Boyd was drafted by the Capitals in the sixth round – 177th overall – of the 2011 NHL Draft. Boyd was the youngest player available in the draft that year. Boyd joins his roommates Kyle Rau and Seht Ambroz as the third Gophers senior to sign a professional contract after the team's 4-1 loss to Minnesota-Duluth in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

"This is a great opportunity for Travis to continue his hockey career, and we certainly wish him the best," head coach Don Lucia said in a release. "Travis was a big part of our program over the last four years, and we look forward to seeing him continue to be successful at the next level."