Eden Prairie star Casey Mittelstadt is officially ready to join the Gophers men’s hockey program. Mittelstadt was one of four highly touted recruits that signed their National Letter of Intent during the early signing period head coach Don Lucia announced Tuesday.
Minnesotans Scott Reedy and Nate Knoepke, and Californian Brannon McManus, round out the signing class.
Get to know the new Gophers:
Casey Mittelstadt, Eden Prairie, Forward
Mittelstadt passed on the opportunity to join the Gophers as a 17-year-old freshman this fall and returned for his senior season of high school hockey. He led the Eagles to the Class AA state championship game last spring and was named the 2016 Associated Press Player of the Year and a First Team All-State honoree. He posted a photo on Instagram last week signing his letter of intent and wrote "Proud to sign my NLI to finally be a Gopher." Mittelstadt was the 2016 USA Hockey/CCM All-American Prospects Game's MVP. He will split this hockey season in the USHL and at Eden Prairie. He currently leads the USHL in scoring with 21 points through 16 games.
Proud to sign my NLI to finally be a gopher 〽️ @ Resch Center https://t.co/yVx7sgmQlZ— Casey Mittelstadt (@CMittelstadt) November 10, 2016
Brannon McManus, Newport Beach, Calif., Forward
McManus will be just the second California native to play for the Gophers in the modern era. He played two seasons at Shattuck-St. Mary’s before joining Omaha in the USHL and was named to the 2015-2016 USHL All-Rookie Second Team. McManus has 10 points through 15 games with Omaha this season. He was a member of the U.S. Under-18 Select Team that finished as runner-up at the 2016 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. He tweeted last week "Excited to finally sign my NLI. Couldn't be more proud to officially become of Gopher!"
Excited to finally sign my NLI. Couldn't be more proud to officially become of Gopher! #〽️ pic.twitter.com/fojS3T7k5m— Brannon McManus (@Bmcmanus7) November 10, 2016
Scott Reedy, Prior Lake, Forward
Reedy is in his second season with the U.S. National Team Development Program and is a Shattuck-St. Mary’s product. He won the 2014 national Bantam title with future Gophers teammate McManus and is currently teammates with Nate Knoepke. Reedy also tweeted a photo signing his NLI and wrote "Excited to officially be signed to the University of Minnesota. Can't wait to be a Gopher. #DreamComeTrue."
Nate Knoepke, Farmington, Defenseman
Knoepke is also in his second season with the U.S. National Team Development Program with future teammate Reedy. He played one season at Lakeville South High School in 2014-2015 and helped lead the Cougars into the postseason. Knoepke and the other three Gophers signees competed in the 2016 USA Hockey/CCM All-American Game and were named to the NHL Central Scouting Preliminary List for the 2017 entry draft.