Trio of Gophers sign NHL deals, Faber to make Wild debut tonight

Less than 48 hours after a devastating National Championship game loss to Quinnipiac, three Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey players have signed NHL contracts.

Defenseman Brock Faber signed his three-year entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. The Maple Grove, Minn. native, spent three seasons with the Gophers and was the team Captain this past season. In his collegiate career, Faber played in 97 games racking up 53 total points on 46 assists and seven goals. Additionally, he plays clean on the defensive end only committing 19 penalties with the Gophers for a total of 38 minutes. Faber will be in the lineup tonight for the Wild against the Chicago Blackhawks. He will be on the second line with veteran Alex Goligoski, a fellow Minnesotan (Grand Rapids).

Forward Matthew Knies has also signed his three-year entry-level contract. The reigning Big Ten Player of the Year will call Toronto home and is set to play for the Maple Leafs. In two seasons with the Golden Gophers, Knies played in 73 games. He totaled 75 points on 36 goals and 39 assists while at Minnesota. Of his 36 goals 11 came on the power play, while two were short-handed, and nine were eventual game-winners.

After playing four seasons with his hometown Golden Gophers,  defenseman Jackson LaCombe has signed his two-year entry-level contract with the Anaheim Ducks. The Eden Prairie, Minn. native, played in 140 games for Minnesota in his collegiate career. He tallied 99 career points on 19 goals and 80 assists.

Additionally, freshman forward and Arizona Coyotes draft pick, Logan Cooley is up in the air about either returning to college next season or signing his NHL contract. Cooley told the media after the National Championship game that he was 50-50 on either returning to Minnesota or going pro. He will make his decision in the coming days.