Jimmy Snuggerud, the second-leading scorer as a freshman for the Gophers men's hockey team, announced Tuesday that he is returning to Minnesota for the 2023-24 season rather than signing with the St. Louis Blues.
Snuggerud scored 21 goals and assisted on 29 for the Gophers, who advanced to the NCAA championship game before falling 3-2 in overtime to Quinnipiac on Saturday night in Tampa, Fla. The Chaska native teamed with linemates Logan Cooley and Matthew Knies to amass 64 goals and 88 assists for the Gophers, who compiled a 29-10-1 record.
Snuggerud was a first-round pick (23rd overall) of the Blues in the 2022 NHL draft. He'll continue to hone his skills with the Gophers, for whom he was the Big Ten scoring co-champion, earned second-team all-conference honors and all-freshman recognition.
Snuggerud becomes the first of the Gophers' high draft picks to return. Junior defenseman and captain Brock Faber, a second-rounder, signed with the Wild on Sunday and made his NHL debut on Monday at Chicago. Knies, a second-round pick of Toronto, signed with the Maple Leafs on Sunday and played on Monday at Florida. Senior defenseman Jackson LaCombe, a second-round pick by Anaheim, signed with the Ducks on Monday and is expected to play Tuesday night at Vancouver.
Cooley, a freshman who was the No. 3 overall pick by Arizona in last year's draft, hasn't announced whether he'll return to the Gophers or sign with the Coyotes.