Brady Skjei will return to the Gophers’ blue line next season. The New York Rangers’ 2012 first-round draft pick informed the NHL club on Thursday that he would return for his junior year of college.

“I can’t wait to come back and build off of what we accomplished last year,” Skjei said in a news release, referring to the Gophers’ appearance in the NCAA title game. “It’s a new season and a new team, but I’m excited about our potential.”

The Lakeville native is currently participating in the Rangers’ prospect developmental camp in New York City along with teammate Vinni Lettieri, a sophomore forward.

Skjei had 14 points (six goals, eight assists) last season and was an All-Big Ten honorable mention pick.

JASON GONZALEZ

Etc.

Pete Fenson of Bemidji, Minn., who recently retired from elite-level competitive curling, will join USA Curling’s high-performance national coaching staff. He skipped the U.S. team to a bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Games and is an eight-time national champion.

RACHEL BLOUNT