Nick Bjugstad Shares Excitement On Bringing Family To Utah, NHL Team Nickname

May 30, 2024, 4:50 PM | Updated: 5:00 pm


Nick Bjugstad #17 of the Arizona Coyotes skates with the puck against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the first period in an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on February 29, 2024 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Coyotes 4-2. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Center Nick Bjugstad shared his excitement about the NHL coming to Utah and bringing his family to the Beehive State.

Nick Bjugstad says he’s excited for NHL team in Utah

Bjugstad recently joined Jay Stevens on the Utah Puck Report podcast. The center discussed his background in hockey and his future in Utah.

RELATED: Utah Puck Report Podcast

Nick Bjugstad’s background and playing style

The former Arizona Coyote grew up in the state of Minnesota and with a love of the sport from a young age. Bjugstad’s father played hockey throughout his youth and his uncle played in the NHL.

“It was kind of a part of my lineage and started about three, I think two years old, my dad had me on skates walking around the house. So I started early playing on the ponds, playing outdoor hockey and playing youth hockey for the city that I grew up in.”

In 2010, Bjugstad was selected by the Florida Panthers with the No. 19 overall pick during the first round of the NHL Draft.

Bjugstad joined the Panthers in 2012 and played six and a half seasons in Florida before he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. After leaving Florida, Bjugstad spent time with the Penguins, Minnesota Wild, Arizona Coyotes, and Edmonton Oilers.

During his time on the Utah Puck Report, Bjugstad described his career as “a bit of a rollercoaster.”

“I’ve been in the league a while now and I’ve learned a lot and I think I bring a good two-way game,” the center told Stevens. “[I] like to make sure I’m locking down defensively and contributing offensively a little bit that’s come back for me the last few years.”

Bjugstad said he’s trying to continue “developing my game.”

“I always want to try to get better and grow and that’s kind of what I’m focusing on this summer,” the center continued. “I want to work on a lot of different things. So really excited to just get going in Utah, especially with this group that we have.”

Nick Bjugstad’s on arriving in Utah

Bjugstad told Stevens that the Coyotes first heard rumors of the team relocating from Arizona to Utah in March.

The center said that he wasn’t phased by the move after getting traded and moving around the league. “We’re used to that and it’s part of our job title,” he told Stevens.

Bjugstad added that he was excited about the move to Utah and talked about the welcome party the organization held at the Delta Center.

@kslsportscom They’re here 🤩🤩 #nhl #nhltoutah #hockey ♬ Enough (Miami) [Instrumental] – Cardi B

“This is nothing really out of the ordinary other than the fact that we’re joining a city and a group of fans that, you know, have never had pro hockey,” the NHL player said. “So that for us is just so exciting, especially after the experience we had when we all came down and did the welcome party at Delta Center and, you know, it’s just exciting for us.

Bjugstad brought his wife and infant for the tour around Salt Lake City and the party at Delta Center. He said that they could tell the state was really excited for the NHL to arrive.

“We’re feeling the energy and it’s apparent that this team is, or the city is really excited for hockey. So that as a player and as an organization, you just can’t wait for that,” Bjugstad said.

@kslsportscom You’re excited? WE ARE EXCITED. #nhl #nhlinutah #hockey #utahhockey ♬ original sound – kslsports

Nick Bjugstad’s on Utah’s nickname

Stevens asked Bjugstad if he had any favorites from the list of potential nicknames for Utah’s NHL team.

Bjugstad said he’s a fan of Yeti and Fury.

The center said that he likes the naming process and the involvement of the fans.

“That’s why I love this whole process. It’s a we thing,” Bjugstad said.

To hear Bjugstad’s entire conversation on the Utah Puck Report podcast, check out the audio player above.

Kyle Ireland is an insider for Utah’s NHL team for KSLSports.com. Follow him on X (@kyleireland), Threads (@kyleirelandksl), and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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Nick Bjugstad Shares Excitement On Bringing Family To Utah, NHL Team Nickname