Edina defenseman Ben Brinkman, who was a junior this past season, has accelerated his high school education to graduate early and will join the Gophers hockey program for the 2018-19 season, multiple sources told the Star Tribune.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder has been considered a top recruit for his entire high school career. The Star Tribune first-team All-Metro selection had 11 goals and 33 assists in 28 games as captain for the Hornets in 2017-18. As a sophomore, when he was also captain, he scored 12 goals.

In his final high school game this past March, the state third-place game against Centennial, he had three assists and a goal in the Hornets’ 11-0 victory.

Brinkman, 17, gave a verbal commitment to the Gophers in December of 2015. He was the No. 5 overall selection by the Waterloo Blackhawks in the USHL futures draft in 2016.

Brinkman will be in new coach Bob Motzko’s rotation starting Oct. 6 when the Gophers open against defending national champion Minnesota-Duluth.