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Gophers Hockey: Brock Kautz commits to Minnesota

Kautz, a 20 year old from Rochester, MN, had a .944 save percentage in 11 playoff games for the Minnesota Wilderness (NAHL).

Minnesota Wilderness (NAHL) goaltender Brock Kautz is the latest player to commit to Minnesota.

The 6'0", 190 lbs Kautz officially committed Thursday while registering for summer classes, according to the Rochester Post-Bulletin. He is a late addition to the Gophers recruiting class, choosing Minnesota over RIT and Niagara. He joins teammate Darian Romanko at Minnesota. The pair won the Robertson Cup (NAHL playoff championship) with the Wilderness this past season.

Kautz, who tuns 21 in June, has taken a long route to Dinkytown by spending the past five seasons in the NAHL. He had a .906 save percentage and gave up 2.43 GAA in 23 regular season games this past year for the Wilderness before having a .944 save percentage during his playoff run. Prior to this season Kautz spent three years with the Janesville Jets (a teammate of fellow Gopher goalie commit Logan Halladay) and a year with the Owatanna Express.

He's the second Rochester, MN native in recent years to play goalie for the Gophers. Alex Kangas wore the "M" over a four year career that spanned 109 games from 2007-2011.

With Kautz's verbal commitment Thursday, Minnesota has a glut of goalies on the horizon barring a player leaving or decommitting. Muskegon (USHL) goalie Eric Schierhorn is expected to join sophomore Nick Lehr and senior Ryan Coyne (who has been the team's practice goalie and only played in exhibitions so far) in the fall to compete for the starting job Adam Wilcox left up for grabs by signing with Tampa Bay. Out of junior eligibility, Kautz would make four with Halladay, who signed a Letter of Intent in the fall, keeping the total at four if he comes in to replace Coyne in 2016-17.

Lakeville North (HS-MN) senior  (1998-born) goalie Ryan Edquist has also verbally committed to Minnesota.

Four goalies in college isn't unheard of; especially if many aren't on scholarship. For example, Michigan State had four goalies on its roster this year despite Jake Hildebrand playing every minute. Still, it's a situation to look at down the line.

Updated 5/8 6:20 p.m. with Rochester Post-Bulletin link


Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation mostly covering both the University of Minnesota and Big Ten. You can also follow him on Twitter --