Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Gophers' Logan Cooley tabbed national player of the year by USA Hockey

The Minnesota Gophers center led the team in scoring on the way to a Big Ten title and a trip to the NCAA title game, and recently announced he will return for a sophomore college hockey season.

Logan Cooley (6).jpg
Prior to stardom for the Minnesota Gophers, center Logan Cooley played two seasons for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program.
Rena Laverty / USA Hockey's NTDP.

MINNEAPOLIS — When USA Hockey — the sport’s national governing body — was looking for the top American player in college hockey last season, they may have looked first in Pittsburgh, or their first glance may have been toward the State of Hockey. In either case, their gaze settled on the same uber-talented center.

Minnesota Gophers forward Logan Cooley, who recently announced his plan to return for a second season in maroon and gold, is no stranger to wearing red, white and blue. He picked the Gophers while skating for USA Hockey’s National Team Development program. In addition to his exemplary college work last season, he skated for Team USA at the World Junior Championships in the winter and in the U18 World Championships last summer.

University of Minnesota forward Logan Cooley (92) follows through on a shot with St. Cloud State's Ryan Rosborough (12) defending in a nonconference men's hockey game on Jan. 7, 2023, at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud, Minn.
Jim Rosvold / The Rink Live

On Thursday, Cooley was named USA Hockey’s national college player of the year — an award which will be officially handed out next month at the organization’s Annual Congress in Colorado. As a freshman, Cooley, 19, was Minnesota’s leading scorer, an All-Big Ten first teamer and one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given annually to college hockey’s top player.

"Logan is a special, special talent, special player," said Gophers coach Bob Motzko. "The talent is there, but his compete level is what set him apart. And the great thing is there's so much more to come."

The defenseman originally from southern California was a four-year regular on the U of M blue line, and a first-round pick of Buffalo in 2019.
Transfers from St. Lawrence, Princeton and UMD will help bolster the Gophers on the back end next season as they try to find a way back to the Frozen Four and repeat as WCHA tourney champs.
Fargo native Trent Wiemken has gone 8-1-1 in the Robertson Cup playoffs as the mainstay goalie for the Austin Bruins playoffs while working with former Minnesota Gophers goalie Nick Lehr's coaching.
The former Minnesota Mr. Hockey winner is coming off a senior campaign where he notched career highs in goals and points while playing right wing on the Gophers' second line much of the season.
When the vote to build a new Arizona Coyotes rink in Tempe failed, a big piece of their future decided that NHL hockey can wait another year, and Logan Cooley announced his return to the U of M.
After leading the Minnesota Gophers in all offensive categories as a freshman, the talented center from Pittsburgh will hold off on signing a pro contract and make another run at a NCAA title.
After coming to the U of M as a walk-on in 2019, Justen Close became the team's mainstay in goal in January 2022 and has backstopped two Big Ten titles and two Frozen Four trips.
The Minnesota Gophers' biggest body and top faceoff man scored his career-best 10th goal of the 2022-23 season in the second period of the NCAA title game in Tampa,
Murphy grew up in an Illinois family with two brothers who have played college sports, a mother who played college softball and a dad who was a Marine. She won gold last month with Team USA
The former Ms. Hockey winner has been a defensive mainstay for the past four years, and is on track to attend medical school when she is done playing in March 2024.
The Twin Cities rivals will meet for the first time at the home rink of the NHL's Minnesota Wild, with tickets set to go on sale in August.
The dates of all 28 conference games for each of the WCHA's eight teams have been announced, with Minnesota State Mankato opening the season at Wisconsin on Thursday, Oct. 12 in Madison.

Picked third overall by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2022 NHL Draft, Cooley likely could have stepped directly into the team’s lineup next season, but admitted that uncertainty about the team’s future played a role in his recent decision to spend another season with the Gophers before he expects to move on to pro hockey a year from now.


USA Hockey also named Notre Dame-bound Cole Knuble from the Fargo Force as their junior hockey player of the year.

Jess Myers covers college hockey, as well as outdoors, general sports and travel, for The Rink Live and the Forum Communications family of publications. He came to FCC in 2018 after three decades of covering sports as a freelancer for a variety of publications, while working full time in politics and media relations. A native of Warroad, Minn. (the real Hockeytown USA), Myers has a degree in journalism/communications from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives in the Twin Cities. Contact Jess via email at jrmyers@forumcomm.com, or find him on Twitter via @JessRMyers. English speaker.
What to read next
"We are excited to bring Nick and his family to the University of Wisconsin," head coach Mike Hastings said.
Paul Kirtland was a Mavericks assistant under former head coach Mike Hastings. He leaves the MSU program to return to his alma mater after Luke Strand was named the Mavs' head coach in April.
Renowned for his skating as a Minnesota Gopher, Roseau native Bill Yon is back in his hometown, loving life as a pilot and helping preserve the history in one of the state's great hockey communities.
Get Local