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Gopher quick hits: Minnesota commits getting Team USA Experience

Matt Christians

Some "quick hits" all in one blog rather than sending out a half dozen tweets:

-According to Let's Play Hockey, Scott Hamilton and others, former Eden Prairie and Sacred Heart forward Mitch Rogge is walking on with Minnesota. That would give the Gophers the fifteenth forward it lost when Gabe Guertler departed for the OHL.

-As Chris wrote last night, 1997-born Lakeville North defenseman Jack Sadek committed to the Gophers. Sadek, a 6'3" right hand shot, has been a fast riser and stood out during the Minnesota Model Camp.

I won't go too in-depth - again, read Chris'report - other than he'll likely be on campus 2016-17. Sadek, playing in the upcoming Elite League, will be a senior this year Lakeville North. The Panthers are coming off a runner-up finish in Class AA last season and also feature the three Poehling brothers (all St.Cloud State commits), fellow Minnesota commit Ryan Edquist (newly transferred from Shattuck) and Nordiques throwbacks. (If you want to feel old, none of the high schoolers were alive when Quebec had an NHL team.)

He's also Brady Skjei's cousin.

-Several commits are playing internationally right now for Team USA. Among them:

-'97 born Tommy Novak is in the Czech Republic, playing on the US Ivan Hlinka tournament team. Novak currently leads all scorers with 7 points (2G-5A) in 3 games. The former St. Thomas Academy forward, who stands at 6'0", 170 lbs, had four points (2G-2A) in Wednesday's 9-4 win over Finland. Combined with a previous loss to the Czech Republic and win against Russia, Team USA will next face Canada in the semifinals Friday.

Also at the Ivan Hlinka tournament: Burnsville, MN native and Wisconsin commit Brock Boeser leads with 5 goals, including a hat trick against Russia. Three other US players, Robert Jackson (St. Cloud State commit), Dennis Yan and Troy Terry (Denver), who had a hat trick today, have three goals. All are 2015 NHL Draft eligible.

-Edquist and Waterloo defenseman Sam Rossini (Burnsville, MN native) are both in Germany playing in the U17 5 Nations Cup. After a 10-0 pre-tournament win against the host team, which included a goal by Rossini, the Americans (with 9 of 20 players from Minnesota) kicked off the tournament with a 6-2 victory over Slovakia. In goal, Edquist was named best player after the game, making 32 saves.

Team USA next plays Friday against Switzerland. Edquist and Rossini will also face the Czech Republic and Germany over the weekend.

-Additionally, two players who will be wearing the "M" this season - Hudson Fasching and Ryan Collins, who bucked his defensive defenseman reputation with two goals in one of the games - survived last week's World Juniors NJEC. Teammate Leon Bristedt did the same with Sweden. Three others - Michael Brodzinski, Taylor Cammarata and Vinni Lettieri - were among those cut.

-SB Nation's Jeff Cox was at Selects 15 Camp last month and wrote highly about Minnesota commits, and Shattuck teammates, Scott Reedy and Brannon McManus.

4. Scott Reedy (#10 Gold) 6-0/185 Shattuck St. Mary's (Minnesota) - This ranking is no knock on the week's leading scorer who's a Gopher commit. He projects as a very good college player, but the three players ranked above him really stood out for their strength and power games for their age. He's patient with the puck and very creative in the attack zone. He was very good setting up his teammates, but he also has a nice quick release to find the back of the net.

5. Brannon McManus (#8 Red) 5-10/165 Shattuck St. Mary's (Minnesota) - He's a creative offensive player who seems to be in the right spots at the right time for the puck to find him. He's got the gift of being patient and definitely makes nice looks to his teammates. He's another player who is confident with the puck.

-Defenseman Ryan Lindgren is one of four Minnesotans named to the US Under-17 team. The others are Joey Anderson (Roseville/Minnesota-Duluth commit), Matthew Hellickson (St. Louis Park/Notre Dame commit) and Jake Oettinger (Lakeville/uncommitted).

-Last week, '97 born forward Tarek Baker's USHL rights were traded from Des Moines to Bloomington, where the Verona, Wisconsin native will report. Baker joins fellow Gopher commit Logan Halladay on the expansion Thunder.

-Defenseman Ryan Zuhlsdorf will play for Sioux City (USHL) before and after Edina's (MN-HS) season.

-As of this writing, Minnesota opens the regular season in South Bend against Minnesota-Duluth in 58 days.


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