Jason Gonzalez has covered an array of sports at all levels over the last nine years. He learned ice hockey, however, long before — during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah (his hometown). He got a close up look of legendary Gophers alum Herb Brooks and other Minnesota hockey greats. Jason has been with the Star Tribune since 2012.
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The Gophers added to their incoming freshman class on Wednesday. Goaltender Nick Lehr and forward Robin Höglund each signed Acceptance of Admission agreements and will join the team next season, coach Don Lucia announced.
The pair played significant roles on their respective North American Hockey League teams last season. Lehr, a Roseville native, earned All-NAHL Central Division honors for the Austin Bruins. Höglund, a native of Mölndal, Sweden, was an All-NAHL North Division honoree for the Janesville Jets.
Lehr will likely compete for a backup role to All-American goaltender Adam Wilcox. He spent three seasons in the NAHL and led the Bruins to the Robertson Cup Finals and a regular-season division title with 35 wins, 1.84 goals-against average and .932 save percentage last season.
Höglund becomes just the fourth Gophers recruit from outside North America. He joins already committed incoming freshman and fellow Swede Leon Bristedt. The forward scored 47 points (24 goals, 23 assists) in 57 games with the Janesville Jets last season. He spent two seasons in the NAHL and a partial season in the USHL over the past three years.
Lucia has yet to announce next year's tentative roster with players still considering the option to leave early for the pros. All-American defenseman Mike Reilly recently announced he would return for his junior season.