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Gophers Hockey: Leon Bristedt to miss Ice Breaker

Minnesota will be without the incoming Swedish freshmen for games against Minnesota Duluth and RPI/Notre Dame due to an NCAA decision regarding Bristedt playing with professionals.

Minnesota incoming freshman Leon Bristedt (right) at WJC camp in Lake Placid last month
Minnesota incoming freshman Leon Bristedt (right) at WJC camp in Lake Placid last month
Bruce Bennett

The wait to see incoming Minnesota freshmen forward Leon Bristedt will have to come a week or two later.

Bristedt, a native of Stockholm, Sweden, will miss the Gophers' first two games after an NCAA decision, the team announced Thursday. The decision stems from Bristedt twice playing with a professional player on his Linkoping J20 team.

Along with fellow freshman Robin Hoglund, the 19 year-old is Minnesota's third and fourth European players of the modern era. (Thomas Vanek and Erik Haula are the others.) Bristedt, however, is the first who played juniors in Europe prior to college. He led the Sweden's J20 in points last season and in addition participated in his home country's World Junior camp last month.

This isn't the first time a European player has had to sit out NCAA games due to playing with a professional player although it is a disappointment for someone who has the ability to play in the Minnesota top-six. The Gophers return five forwards from its top-six, but are not set on any line combinations. The team has been trying a few different rotations.

Minnesota opens the 2014-15 season at the Ice Breaker tournament in South Bend, Indiana on October 10th against Minnesota-Duluth and October 12th against either RPI or Notre Dame.

Bristedt, who will be able to play in Minnesota's exhibition game against NAIT on October 4, is eligible to play October 24th at home against Bemidji State.

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