Minnetonka's Tommy Vannelli, a defensman for Minnetonka High School, is the highest ranked Gophers prospect in the Central Scouting Bureau's final ratings before the NHL draft in June.
His is rated No. 44, up from No. 77 in the mid-term rankings. That's a nice jump.
It's unclear whether Vannelli will be playing for the Gophers this fall or next. Coach Don Lucia recently said he will bring in three defensmen and named two of them, Jake Bischoff of Grand Rapids and Michael Brodzinski of Blaine. Brodzinski has been playing for Muskegon of the USHL all season. Bischoff joined Omaha of the USHL after the Thunderhawks' high school season ended.
Other ranked future Gophers -- who will be joining the team this fall:
Hudson Fasching, under-18 national team, Apple Valley, forward, No. 70
Taylor Cammarata, Waterloo forward, No. 193
Justin Kloos, Waterloo forward, No. 203
Gabe Guertler, Fargo forward, No. 208
Also ranked is Lincoln forward Vinni Lettieri, No. 209, but he is not expected to be a Gopher until 2014 at least.
The 17 other ranked Minnesotans, which brings the total to 23:
Connor Hurley, Edina HS, No. 45 ... headed for Notre Dame
Teemu Kivihalme, Burnsville HS, No. 64 ... Colorado College
Jake Guentzel, Sioux City, Woodbury, forward, No. 80 ... Nebraska Omaha
Blake Heinrich, Sioux City, Cambridge, defenseman, No. 81
Avery Peterson, Grand Rapids HS, forward, No. 86
Grant Besse, Benilde-St. Margaret's HS, No. 106 ... Wisconsin
Jonny Brodzinski, St. Cloud State, forward, No. 132
Parker Reno, Edina HS, defenseman, No. 140 ... RPI
Neal Pionk, Hermantown HS, defenseman, No. 141
Gage Ausmus, under-18 national team, East Grand Forks, defenseman, No. 148
Zach Glienke, Eagan HS, forward, No. 160
Jake Jackson, Tartan HS, forward, No. 170
Adam Johnson, Hibbing HS, forward, No. 176
Willie Raskob, Shattuck St. Mary's HS, of Hastings, defenseman, No. 178
Clint Lewis, under-18 national team, Burnsville, defenseman, No. 181
Connor Light, Andover HS, defenseman, No. 185
There was also one goalie listed among the top North American netminders:
Charlie Lindgren, Sioux Falls, Lakeville, No. 19