The Gophers are having trouble scoring goals this season, especially five-on-five.
But they have some good prospects who are doing well in the USHL. Taylor Cammarata of the Waterloo Black Hawks is leading the USHL in scoring with 14 goals and 26 assists for 40 points. He is a plus-14 and has played in 21 games.
Teammate Justin Kloos, who nearly was a Gophers this fall, is tied for second in USHL scoring with 13 goals and 24 assists for 37 points. He had a big game Saturday with two goals, including the game-winner, and an assist in a 5-4 overtime victory over Sioux City. He has five power-play goals, including his last goal in OT.
The 5-9, 170-pound Kloos, who is a plus-15, was going to join the Gophers if Nick Bjugstad decided to turn pro and leave early.
Here is a nugget on Bjugstad from Brad Elliott Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald:
Minnesota – Nick Bjugstad, the preseason player of the year, racked up 1.38 points per game during the first 16 league games of last season. In his last 23 league games, Bjugstad is averaging just 0.61. He’s currently 64th in the race for the league scoring title with seven points in 12 games.
But back to the USHL ... Tied for eighth in scoring is another future Gopher, forward Gabe Guertler of Fargo. He had 19 goals and 11 assists for 30 pints in 28 games. He is a plus-10, with five power-play goals and five short-handed. He also leads the USHL in shots on goal with 116, so he has been active on the ice.
By comparison, Cammarata has 62 shots, Kloos 79.
Fargo is second in the Western Conference of the USHL with a 15-8-5 record for 35 points, one point back is Waterloo at 17-9-0.
Waterloo has scored the most goals in the USHL with 109 -- the Black Hawks are averaging 4.2 goals per game -- Fargo is tied for second with 101.
Too bad the Gophers can't call up one or two of these players for the second semester. The season-ending injury to freshman forward Connor Reilly (knee) at a preseason team party looks a lot more damaging than ever.
He was expected to be a top six forward perhaps and be able to score.
None of the other freshmen have added much to the offense.
The Hockey Writers are predicting that Hudson Fasching, another future Gopher, will got No. 27 (near bottom of first round) in NHL draft next June.
A photo of Fasching signing his national letter of intent with the Gophers in mid-November that he tweeted is here.
The Hockey Writers' write-up on Fasching, who played hockey for Apple Valley, before leaving this season to play for the under-18 U.S. national development team based im Ann Arbor, Mich.:
27. Fasching, Hudson
a – Vitals: R – RW – 6’2, 214 – 28-Jul-95 – USA – USHL – USA U18 #22
b – Rank: NHL–USA-3; CR-THR–21; ISS-24; McK-25; THN-19; TSN-69
c – Commentary: Mr. Special – Power forward in the making with excellent size, good skating and decent hands, makes this player special. Go ahead, Hudson, add some every game consistency and drive, and you can turn that special into extra special.
In nine USHL games, Fasching has two goals and one assist for three points.