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Gophers captain Tyler Sheehy trying to turn heads at Wild development camp

Minnesota forward Tyler Sheehy celebrates his goal against Ohio State in the third period of a semifinal game in the Big Ten Men's Hockey Tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Friday, March 18, 2016. John Autey / St. Paul Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL — A do-over is coming just in time for Tyler Sheehy and the University of Minnesota men's hockey team.

After being named Gophers captain for his junior year in 2017-18, Sheehy admits he struggled on the ice, slogging his way to 12 goals and 13 assists. The Gophers did not get into the NCAA tournament, and longtime coach Don Lucia stepped down soon after.

"Obviously, with the way things ended last season, we're not too happy about it," Sheehy said, adding that he and his teammates are excited about Bob Motzko taking over as head coach. "We're getting ready to step on the ice here after summer is over. We'll be ready to go."

In the meantime, the 22-year-old Burnsville, Minn., native is trying to set himself up for life after college. He received an invitation from Wild to attend this week's development camp at Xcel Energy Center, and is focused on making the most of it.

"It's a great opportunity, especially with an organization like this," Sheehy said. "It's awesome. It's a great opportunity for me and kind of a learning experience. I'm really excited for it."

Sheehy will be an undrafted free agent when his college career wraps up, meaning he will be able to pick his destination. That makes this week even more important to him.

"It's about development first and foremost at this point in the summer because that's something I always try to focus on," Sheehy said. "That said, at this point in my career, it's probably a good idea to make sure they remember me."

Luckily for Sheehy, he has an example to follow in former teammate Justin Kloos, who attended a few development camps during his college career before signing with the Wild as a free agent.

"I've talked to him about some things," Sheehy said. "I just thought this was a great opportunity for me."

It's far from a guarantee that the Wild will come calling in the future, and if they don't, Sheehy is grateful to be a part of this week.

"Just growing up here and watching the Wild play, it's a pretty cool experience," Sheehy said. "Just getting to throw on a Wild jersey and skate (at Xcel Energy Center) is pretty cool."

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