The Gophers have another forward for next season.

Benilde-St. Margaret's senior forward Christian Horn committed to the Gophers last Thursday.

"If he puts little weight and gains strength, he could make an impact right away," Red Knights coach Ken Pauly said. "This kid, he's an effortless skater. He has got a lot of speed. And he has such an economy of motion, he does not tire.

"Some guys come out like buzz bombs, but are dead in the third period. He is terrific there. And his hallmark for us, the bigger the game, the better he plays. He got a lot of his goals at critical times."

Horn had 26 goals and 70 points for Benilde-SM last hockey season, helping the Red Knights win the Class 2A state title.

He is listed at 5-11, 173 pounds. Horn is also one of the state's best lacrosse players, but he suffered a serious injury to his spleen on April 14 playing that sport for the Red Knights.

He will not be able to have any contact for a couple of months, Pauly said, but should be ready for hockey season.

"By July he will be able to fully work out," Pauly said.

SHIBBY COULD SURPRISE

The Gophers had two other former BSM players on their roster this season, both sophomores, goalie Mike Shibrowski and defenseman Chris Student. Both played in only one game.

Shibrowski will challenge incoming freshman Adam Wilcox for the goaltending job in the 2012-13 season.

"The thing about Mike is, he is always full of surprises," Pauly said. "His road to Minnesota was a rather unorthodox one."

He split time in the nets at Benilde as a junior for a state tournament team. He continued to split time as a senior before leaving after 1-1/2 months to play for a AAA junior team called Russell Stover in Kansas City, Mo.

Next he played for the Owatonna Express in the NAHL, for Colorado College for part of a season and then for Des Moines of the USHL.

"He completely believes in himself," Pauly said. "He is an incredible competitor, and has a disciplined mental approach.  ... He hasn’t played a lot for the Gophers, but he is a veteran with a lot of life experiences behind him."