Max Gardiner, a 6-3, 188-pound center for Minnetonka, will play for the Gophers this coming season, according to a source close to Gardiner. He was headed for Des Moines of the USHL until meeting with U coach Don Lucia on Monday.
Gardiner had 15 goals and 30 assists for the Skippers as a junior and 22 goals and 32 assists as a senior despite missing eight games because of a broken wrist. Minnetonka reached the Class 2A title game in 2010, losing 4-2 to Edina,
His brother Jake will be a junior defenseman for Wisconsin, so the Gophers' four regular-season games with the Badgers will have another intriguing story line.
Max Gardiner was taken in the third round of the NHL draft in June by St. Louis. He was the 71st pick overall.
Gardiner, who turned 18 on May 7, was a Mr. Hockey finalist as a senior.
Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow @RomanStrib on Twitter. E-mail Roman.