Gophers Hockey: Minnesota picks up pair of NAHL commits

Minnesota Athletics

In the last week forward Robin Hoglund (Janesville) and goalie Nick Lehr (Austin) each committed to the Gophers.

Minnesota has twice in the last week picked up a commitment from an North American Hockey League player.

Austin Bruins goaltender Nick Lehr reportedly committed Wednesday to the Gophers. Lehr is following Janseville Jets forward Robin Höglund, who did so last week.

Höglund, a 19 year-old from Moindal, Sweden, is the second Swede in three months to commit after Leon Bristedt became the first Swedish native to do so back in November. Unlike Bristedt, who is overseas, Höglund (like the two other European Gophers in the modern era) is playing in the United States.

"I'm extremely excited about the opportunity I've been given to play hockey for the Gophers" Höglund told NAHL.com." I believe that they have the best program out there and I really believe I can excel as a hockey player to my full potential in a school like that.

"I came to the U.S. with one goal and that was to play college hockey at the highest level possible and I absolutely found it."

He currently is second on Janesville with 35 points (18G-17A) in 45 games. The 6'3", 205 lbs forward brings with him size and physicality (54 PIM) that isn't seen up front with Minnesota's recruit pipeline.

Lehr, meanwhile, is a nearly 21 year-old from Roseville, MN that has spent the past three seasons with the Austin Bruins. From Jason Feldman of the Rochester Post-Bulletin:

Lehr's play is a big reason why the Bruins (31-17-1) have a three-point lead for first place in the NAHL Central Division over Bismarck as they chase a second consecutive division championship.

He is among the league leaders in every statistical goaltending category in the 24-team NAHL, a Junior A Tier II league, the second-best level of junior hockey in the country. Lehr is tied for first in victories (27), fifth in save percentage (.931), sixth in goals-against average (1.93) and second in minutes played (2,388:15).

"We've had quite a few teams talk to us about Nick," said Tok, who received a call from Gophers coaches on Wednesday afternoon to talk about Lehr. "Minnesota has been to two or three of our games and they've seen he's kept his consistent level of play.

Lehr would replace a graduating Michael Shibrowki in net next season. The Gophers had several options when it came to the spot, but ultimately went with Lehr. (The lone goalie recruit - 1998 born Ryan Edquist - is too young to come in next season.)

Höglund and Lehr are joined as recent Minnesota commits by Waterloo (USHL) forward Tyler Sheehy.

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Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation. You can also follow him on Twitter --

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