Gophers Hockey: Blake Thompson leaving the program at the end of the semester

University of Minnesota defenseman Blake Thompson - Minnesota Athletics

Per school release, sophomore defenseman Blake Thompson has decided to transfer from the University of Minnesota at the end of the semester.

The University of Minnesota announced today that sophomore defenseman Blake Thompson will transfer at the end of the fall semester.

"While I'm disappointed in Blake's decision to transfer, I respect his choice and appreciate his contributions to the program over the last two years," Minnesota head coach Don Lucia said in a statement released by the school. "Our team and our staff wish him the best as he moves forward."

Thompson, who played in 5 games as a freshman, has yet to appear in a game this season. He had two assists for the Gophers following a USHL career that included stops with Sioux Falls and Waterloo.

With Minnesota returning seven defensemen from last year's team (including Thompson) and adding both Brady Skjei (New York Rangers) and Mike Reilly (Columbus Blue Jackets), there was little room on the depth chart for Thompson to play. The blue line situation doesn't clear up much next season either. They only have one senior and even with early departures the Gophers have 2-3 defensive recruits between Michael Brodzinksi, Jake Bischoff and Tommy Vannelli that could come in next year.

The Eden Prairie, MN native had been considered for a redshirt earlier in the season by Lucia given the number of defensemen ahead of him on the depth chart but no action was officially made.

Thompson's next move is currently unknown. Minnesota is off until December 29th-30th when they play Air Force and top-ranked Boston College in the Mariucci Classic.

For more on the University of Minnesota, check out The Daily Gopher.

Follow Nate on Twitter @gopherstate and SB Nation College Hockey @sbncollegepuck

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