Head men's hockey coach Don Lucia announced his final 2010-11 roster Tuesday. Included are 17 returners from last year's squad and 10 new faces. Here is a breakdown of the vets, newbies and goners.
Forwards - Patrick White, Taylor Matson, Mike Hoeffel, Nico Sacchetti, Joe Miller, Jacob Cepis (who won the V. George Nagobads Unsung Hero Award last year), Nick Larson, Jake Hansen, Zach Buhish, Jay Bariball (who will be back for his senior season after missing the bulk of last year)
Defensemen - Cade Fairchild, Kevin Wehrs, Seth Helgeson, Aaron Ness
Goalies - Alex Kangas, Jake Kremer, Kent Patterson
Forwards - Nick Bjugstad, Max Gardiner, Jared Larson, Nate Condon, Tom Serratore, Erik Haula
Bjugstad was selected 19th overall in the 2010 NHL draft by the Florida Panthers after winning Minnesota's Mr. Hockey Award while playing at Blaine High School. Scouts have said that he possesses the size, speed and offensive skill to be a high-level forward in the NHL. Bjugstad will be a great addition to the Gophers, but how long will he stay?
Gardiner met with Lucia last week to discuss his status with the team. He attended Minnetonka High School and was considering joining Des Moines of the USHL after being drafted 74th overall by the St. Louis Blues. He has decided to play for the U in lieu of pursuing other professional opportunites this season.
Condon played three seasons in the QMJHL and one in the USHL prior to coming to the U. In 2009-10, the Wisconsin native was named to the USHL All-star game. He is described as a pure offensive player with good skating ability and size.
Haula grew up in Finland and played for the Finnish Under-18 team prior to attending Shattuck St. Mary's in 2008-09. He was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the seventh round in 2009.
Defensemen - Jake Parenteau, Justin Holl, Mark Alt, Nate Schmidt
Holl also attended Minnetonka and was drafted 54th overall by the Stanley Cup-Champion Chicago Blackhawks this year. At the end of last year's high school season, Holl joined the Omaha Lancers for 11 games.
Alt graduated from Cretin-Derham Hall and also had interest in playing college football. He will be strictly a hockey player at the U, and was drafted 53rd overall by the Carolina Panthers.
Say Goodbye to
Josh Birkholz, Mike Carmen, David Fischer, Ryan Flynn, Nick Leddy, Tony Lucia, Brian Schack, Jordan Schroeder
Carmen, Fischer, Flynn, Lucia, and Schack were all graduated seniors. Lucia tied for the team lead in points with 28.
His co-point leader was Jordan Schroeder, who signed an entry-level contract with the Vancouver Cannucks and opted for professional hockey over his junior season with Minnesota.
Birkholz was facing a suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules. He met with Lucia last week and decided to leave the U rather than face the penalty.
Nick Leddy is not included on the roster, ending speculation about his future status with the Gophers. Leddy was drafted by the Wild last year, but was traded to the Blackhawks in February in a trade that brought defensemen Cam Barker to Minnesota. Leddy signed a three-year deal with the Blackhawks last week after earning Gopher's Rookie of the Year last season. He was invited to the 2010 USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp, a camp from which the United States roster for the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championships is chosen.