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Coaches tab Gophers to repeat as Big Ten champs

Four Gophers were picked for preseason all-Big Ten teams, including rookie forward Logan Cooley, of whom great things are expected by fans and foes alike.

Wisconsin vs Minnesota
Members of the Minnesota Gophers held the Big Ten regular season champions trophy aloft before a noisy audience at 3M Arena at Mariucci in Minneapolis after a 8-0 win over Wisconsin on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.
Matt Krohn / University of Minnesota Athletics

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Arizona Coyotes expect some great things from Minnesota Gophers rookie forward Logan Cooley , having picked him third overall in last summer’s NHL Draft. With the results of its preseason poll that was released on Wednesday, Sept. 21, it is clear that the Big Ten’s hockey coaches expect great things from Cooley as well.

Cooley was among four Gophers tabbed for preseason honors by the conference’s seven head coaches. Forward Matthew Knies and defenseman Brock Faber were first-team selections, while Cooley and defenseman Jackson LaCombe were picked for the second team.

The Gophers, who won the conference’s regular season title in 2021-22, were picked to repeat, with Notre Dame and Michigan rounding out the top three.

Faber was named the Big Ten’s defensive player of the year as a sophomore, and has returned for his junior season, turning down offers to sign a pro contract. Knies, who is a second-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs, will be a sophomore and had a breakout rookie season, scoring in each of the Gophers’ three NCAA tournament games. LaCombe, a co-captain, has been a defensive stalwart for his first three seasons with the Gophers and was an All-American as a sophomore.

The first-ever game played by Lindenwood on Saturday will mark 102 seasons of Minnesota Gophers hockey, and with a mostly unknown opponent coming to town, the home club will focus on itself and what it needs to improve with an October schedule that gets tougher quickly.
Twenty years after he burst onto the Minnesota hockey scene and led the Gophers to their most recent NCAA title, Thomas Vanek has found a comfortable life as a full-time hockey dad in his adopted home.
The expectations are extraordinary for freshman forward Logan Cooley, who comes to the U of M as one of the highest NHL draft picks in program history, and insists he's not in a hurry to get to the NHL until he feels ready.
Ryan Johnson will wear a ‘C’ this season after the defenseman considered his options with the Buffalo Sabres but chose to return to the U of M for a fourth season.
Speaking during the first official team practice on Tuesday afternoon, Pat Micheletti says the team has a lot of potential as it is prepares to play its last season on Olympic-size ice at 3M Arena at Mariucci.
Defending regular-season champion Minnesota picked to finish ahead of defending national champion Ohio State. Not surprisingly, Taylor Heise is the Preseason Player of the Year in the poll of conference coaches
In nearly a century of Gophers men’s hockey, only four players ever had worn a sweater number higher than 50 prior to Sampo Ranta arriving from Finland in 2018 and donning number 58. That has drastically changed.
A Canadian women's team and a professional women's team will both face the Minnesota Gophers before their regular season begins on Oct. 7. Also, two more former Gophers join the WCHA coaching ranks.
He played for USA Hockey in Michigan. He accepted a college scholarship in Indiana. He was drafted by a NHL team in California. But through it all, the love of this game and family keep pulling Brock Faber back to the State of Hockey.
A dozen years ago, Cole Eiserman was the odd Massachusetts kid cheering for the Minnesota Gophers. This week he picked a future in maroon and gold, committing to the U of M after spending the previous two seasons at Shattuck-St. Mary's.
Of the 158 regular season games, at least 134 will be available through streaming on B1G +
After making his reputation as a recruiter at Hamline and spending a year with the Minnesota Gophers, Jake Bobrowski has put law enforcement behind him for good and will run his own college women's hockey program in New York.

Cooley and fellow rookie forward Adam Fantilli from Michigan were both named to the Big Ten’s preseason second team. A pair of European goalies – Michigan’s Erik Portillo and Ohio State’s Jakub Dobes – were named to the first and second teams, respectively.


The Gophers open their Big Ten slate on Oct. 28-29 with a series at Ohio State. Their conference home opener is the following weekend versus Notre Dame.

Full details are available at the Big Ten hockey website .

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.
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