Skating and speed are Chris Student's strengths as a hockey player, so he decided to go to a program which suits him better.

Student will be attending the University of Minnesota this school year and practicing with the Gophers hockey team. He has to sit out one year after transferring from Northeastern after his freshman season.

The 5-9 Student, who weighs between 170 and 175, has three years of eligibility left.

He grew up in Edina and played high school hockey at Benilde-St. Margaret's. The Red Knights took third in the Class 2A state tournament in 2008 when he was a senior.

Next he played at Waterloo of the USHL for one season before college. He had two goals and 12 assists for 14 points for Waterloo and was a plus-28, which put him third among all blue-liners in the USHL.

Student said he transferred to Minnesota -- "I went to their games as a kid" -- because he liked Mariucci Arena, which has a big ice sheet, and the Gophers emphasis on skating.

"[Sitting out] will be a grind," he said, "but it's a great opportunity. And a year of training will let me add muscle and weight."

Student, 21, is a business major. He had two assists in 24 games with Northeastern last season.