BREAKING: Gophers men’s hockey’s Jack LaFontaine signs with Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes selected LaFontaine in the third round and 75th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Goaltender Jack LaFontaine composes himself during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at 3M Arena at Mariucci on Friday, Nov. 22. The Gophers won 4-1.

Sydni Rose

Goaltender Jack LaFontaine composes himself during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at 3M Arena at Mariucci on Friday, Nov. 22. The Gophers won 4-1.

by Michael Lyne , Sports Reporter

Gophers men’s hockey’s starting goaltender Jack LaFontaine has signed with the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League (NHL), the pro team announced Sunday.

LaFontaine, the Mississauga, Ont. native, was selected by the Hurricanes in the third round, 75th overall in the 2016 NHL Draft.

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

The signing comes as a massive loss for Minnesota.

LaFontaine held a 12-8-0 record this season for the Gophers, recording a 2.69 goals-against average an

Last season, LaFontaine was the recipient of the Mike Richter Award, given to college hockey’s best goaltender, and was the Big Ten Goaltender of the Year.

The Gophers’ co-captain played in 96 collegiate games with Michigan and Minnesota from 2016-22, holding a 2.52 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage with five shutouts.

With LaFontaine heading to the NHL, the Gophers will look to junior Justen Close and freshman Brennan Boynton between the pipes.

Close has only played in six games for Minnesota, holding a .792 save percentage, while Boynton has yet to see any collegiate action.