The Wild player wearing jersey No. 7 was once a college student enrolled in online classes, though Brock Faber is having a hard time remembering when that was.

It was two weeks ago.

"I haven't really opened the laptop in a while," he said, smiling at the thought of schoolwork, "but I've got to get back on track at some point."

Forgive him. He's a little preoccupied at the moment.

Faber has launched headlong into a vortex of change these past 14 days. One minute he is captaining the Gophers men's hockey team to the national championship game, the next minute he's a professional hockey player fighting puck battles in the Stanley Cup playoffs for his hometown team.

In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller, life moves pretty fast. Sonic speed for elite hockey prospects of Faber's pedigree.

"It's hard to even keep track of what day it is," he said. "It's been a crazy ride."

That ride arrived at another cool marker Friday night: Game 3 of the Wild's playoff series against the Dallas Stars. The first home playoff game for the Wild and their new defenseman from Maple Grove in this postseason. Faber was on the ice for two Wild goals in what turned into a 5-1 victory and a 2-1 series lead.

Actually, Faber reminded his mom, Karri, the other night that Friday's morning skate would be his first opportunity to skate at Xcel Energy Center with his Wild teammates since joining them April 9, mere hours after the Gophers' heartbreaking loss to Quinnipiac in the national title game.

"It just all runs together," his dad Jay said. "It seems like months ago we were in Tampa."

Faber's life right now is the equivalent of scoring a Disney World FastPass to a favorite ride. He was in the Wild lineup in Chicago two days after the national championship game, which is a unique aspect of professional hockey.

The rookie path in most sports typically includes a gradual introductory phase with rookie camps, training camp and exhibition games before the regular season begins. Elite college hockey prospects often skip that process and proceed directly to NHL playoff races and then potentially playoff series.

Faber has looked so natural and poised throughout his transition that it's easy to forget that he's only 20 years old and has been an NHL player for less than a fortnight.

He has impressed Wild coaches and teammates with all facets of his game, especially his demeanor. He doesn't look out of place on the ice or in the locker room. He's navigating the leap to a faster, more physical style of play artfully.

"You're playing against obviously better players," he said, "but you're also playing with a lot better players too. It's special to be able to wear the same jersey as them."

Faber was third on the team in blocked shots after two games in the series. In Game 1, he made a diving deflection with his stick to prevent a goal in overtime. The Wild played horribly in Game 2, but coach Dean Evason noted that Faber did not appear on a video package of miscues put together by coaches.

"He just goes about his business," Evason said.

None of this surprises Gophers coach Bob Motzko, who points to Faber's participation in the Olympics, world junior championships and NCAA Frozen Four as examples of his big-stage experience.

"It's not too big for Brock," Motzko said.

Still, the time between the Frozen Four and the present feels like a blur. Faber experienced more change by moving into a hotel Friday after staying on campus in a place he shared with Gophers teammates Mike Koster, Mason Nevers and Carl Fish.

His cheering section Friday night was large and proud. His parents counted about 25 family members and friends in their group alone, with a pregame dinner in downtown St. Paul on their agenda.

His parents already were avid Wild fans, so watching their son down on the ice in the playoffs is "still unbelievable," his dad said.

Their son shares that sentiment.

"It's definitely a dream come true," Faber said. "Still trying to process it all."