After a lot of drilling and arm-twisting -- actually I just asked -- Gophers coach Don Lucia revealed the players signed with the U of M during the early signing period in mid-November. He said he thought the names had already been released.
The class was made up of eight players. Not all will necessarily be on the 2011-12 roster. The Gophers have seven seniors and one spot on next season's roster is already spoken for. Defenseman Chris Student, a transfer from Northeastern, is practicing with the team but won't be eligible until next October. He will be a sophomore eligibility-wise.
The only mild surprise in the signing class was the Reilly twins, Connor and Ryan. A surprise not so much that they signed as the timing. They are probably not going to join the team until 2012-13. Their father had said they might sign in the spring, so they could work out next summer with their teammates.
But the Reillys inked their names on national letters of intent. Here's the complete list:
* Seth Ambroz, 6-2, 211. Power forward for Omaha of USHL. ... Could be top 10 pick in NHL draft in June at Xcel. ... Third season in UHSL. ... Accelerated and was hoping to be on team this season but ran into academic issues which weren't cleared until late summer. ... In 15 games, has 9 goals and 4 assists for 14 points. Has three game-winners. Also 27 minutes in penalties.
* Kyle Rau, 5-8, 150. Senior center for Eden Prairie High School. ... Had 40 goals for Eagles as junior. ... Played on Class 2A state championship team as sophmore.
* Christian Isackson, 6-0, 185. Forward for Sioux Falls of USHL. ... In 18 games, 4-9-13 with a minus-3 rating. .. Played high school hockey at St. Thomas Academy.
* Travis Boyd, 5-10. 176. Forward for under-18 U.S. national team in Ann Arbor. ... In 10 USHL games, 3-5-8, with a minus-2 rating. ... Played for Hopkins as eighth- and ninth-grader. Now in second year with national team. Has accelerated to graduate high school in three years.
* Connor Reilly, 5-11, 164. Forward for Sioux Falls of USHL. ... In 18 games, 4-7-11 with a minus-7 rating. ... Two of his goals and six assists on power play. ... Played at Holy Angels.
* Ryan Reilly, 5-7, 158. Forward for Sioux Falls along with twin brother. ... In 14 games, three assists with a minus-1 rating.
* Ben Marshall, 5-9, 170. Defenseman for Omaha of USHL. ... In 19 games, 3-9-12 with a plus-12 rating, third best in league. Just named defensive player of the week. ... Played for Mahtomedi in high school.
* Adam Wilcox, 6-0, 171. First year with Green Bay of USHL after playing high school hockey for South St. Paul. ... In 9 games, 6-2-0 with a 2.30 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. ... Cousin of former UMD standout goalie Alex Stalock.