The Gophers have 10 freshmen on their 27-man roster, so you might think this is a young team.
Wrong. Not correct. Misguided. In terms of college experience, this has a lot of new faces, but three of those are 21-year-old freshmen, Jared Larson, Tom Serratore and Jake Parenteau.
Average age of a Gopher players is 20 years, 11 months and one week on opening day of the season, Oct. 8. Add a week to that come Friday.
Three of players are 23 -- Jay Barriball, Alex Kangas and Joey Miller. Four are 22. Ten are 21. That's 17 players 21 or older.
Three are 20, Three are 19 and four are 18.
The youngest player is Nick Bjugstad who is 18 years, 2 months and 3 weeks old. Mark Alt is also 18, but he turns 19 on Oct. 18. He and Seth Helgeson (10/8) are the only players with October birthdays.
What does this all mean? A few more players are sticking around. Senior Mike Hoeffel and junior Aaron Ness had a chance to turn pro this summer and decided not to do so.
Coach Don Lucia is looking for a few older players in his recruiting mix, players who may stay around for four years and fill a role on the fourth line, or as penalty killers or just to add depth.
Those older players coming in also have played one or two years of junior hockey in USHL or NAHL. Not a bad thing.
Here's a breakdown of the team by age:
23: Jay Barriball, Alex Kangas, Joey Miller.
22: Jacob Cepis, Kevin Wehrs, Taylor Matson, Jake Kremer.
21: Jake Parenteau, Patrick White, Mike Hoeffel, Nico Sacchetti, Tom Serratore, Jared Larson, Nick Larson, Jake Hansen, Cade Fairchild, Kent Patterson
20: Seth Helgeson, Aaron Ness, Nate Condon
19: Erik Haula, Zach Budish, Nate Schmidt
18: Mark Alt, Justin Holl, Nick Bjugstad, Max Gardiner (all played high school hockey last season)