The NHL's Central Scouting Bureau has released its final ratings this season and five future Gophers made its top 212 list of North American skaters.
Listed the highest is Brady Skjei, a 6-2 3/4, 200-pound defenseman with the under-18 U.S. national team based in Ann Arbor, Mich. He is No. 19, meaning he will likely go somewhere in the bottom of the first round in the 2012 NHL draft. So European skaters playing there will probably go ahead of him.
Skjei, who played for Lakeville North until this past season, will join the Gophers next season.
Also rated among the top 100 North American skaters was center A.J. Michaelson of Waterloo in the USHL. He is 6- 3/4, 192 pounds and is another incoming freshman.
Three future Gophers were rated between 100 and 200. They are No. 147 Jake Bischoff, a junior defenseman for Grand Rapids, Minn. He is 5-11 1/2, 178; N. 173 Justin Kloos of Lakeville South, a 5-9, 177 center, and No. 188 forward Lou Nanne of Edina, 5-10, 162. Bischoff and Nanne were juniors, so they won't be joining the Gophers until 2013-14 season. Kloos, a senior, will either play for the Gophers this season or probably in the USHL.
The 2012 NHL will be held June 22-23 in Pittsburgh.
GOPHERS FINISH NO. 4
The Gophers were No. 4 in the final USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine polls. The top three teams in each were Boston College, the national champion; Ferris State, which lost to BC 4-1 in the title game, and Union, the other team in the Frozen Four besides the Gophers.
In the USCHO.com poll, BC received all 50 first-place votes from the 28 coaches and 22 college hockey beat writers or other sports professional who submit votes weekly.
Three other WCHA teams alos made the USCHO.com top 20: North Dakota was No. 5, Minnesota Duluth No. 6 and Denver No. 12.
In the USA Today poll, UMD was NO. 5, North Dakota No. 6 and Denver No. 8.