St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Minnesota Wild has signed former University of Minnesota forward Thomas Vanek to a three-year contract, the team officially announced on Tuesday afternoon.
“Thomas is an elite offensive talent who showed a strong desire to play in Minnesota,” Minnesota general manager Chuck Fletcher said. “We are excited to welcome him to our organization.”
Vanek is the NHL's eighth-leading goal scorer since the 2005-06 season, totaling 277 goals to go along with 279 assists in that time.
He comes to Minnesota after finishing last season with Montreal, that after after also spending time with Buffalo and New York during a tumultuous year for the former Golden Gophers standout.
In his two collegiate seasons, Vanek amsssed 57 goals and 56 assists while helping the University of Minnesota win the 2003 NCAA Division I championship and being named the Frozen Four most valuable player.
He said Tuesday after the signing was announced that returning to Minnesota, a state in which he has an offseason home, was a big selling point.
“It doesn't get much better for me right now; in the end, we made it work,” Vanek told Sportsnet. “What's more exciting is how good the team is. It's a team that is very deep, and I know I can add to that.”