Breaking down the Gophers men's hockey recruits

The Minnesota Gophers men's hockey team fell short of its goal of winning a third straight NCAA title this spring. However, with nine recruits lined up, the future continues to look bright for the maroon and gold. Here is a look at those nine players.

The University of Minnesota men's hockey program has added nine players this signing period.

Here is a look at those nine players, with highlights, stats and information about what they can offer to the Golden Gophers, listed in alphabetical order:

Brent Borgen is a 5-11, 185-pound forward from Mahtomedi, Minn. He recently completed his second season with the Lincoln Stars of the United States Hockey League (USHL). A member of the 2002 U.S. Under-18 Select Team and 2001 U.S. Under-17 Select Team, Borgen is a teammate of fellow Golden Gopher signee Ben Gordon. A 2003 All-Classic Suburban selection during his senior season at Mahtomedi High School, Borgen finished third in the state in 2002-03 in scoring with 35-3--71. He was 15th in the state in scoring in 2001-02 with 36-2--60.

Ben Gordon, a 5-11, 165-pound forward from International Falls, Minn., who completed his first full season with the Lincoln Stars. A teammate of fellow Minnesota signee Brent Borgen, Gordon was a member of the 2002 U.S. Under-18 Select Team. He also represented the Iron Range in the 2003 CCM High School All-Star Game in Duluth, Minn. Gordon led the state in scoring with 38-43--81 during his 2002-03 senior season at International Falls High School. In 2001-02, Gordon was second in the state in scoring with 25-55—-79, two points behind current Gopher Gino Guyer and 10 points ahead of Andy Sertich.

Nate Hagemo, a 5-11, 180-pound defenseman from Edina, Minn., joins the Golden Gophers from the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. Last season, with both the Under-17 and Under-18 teams, Hagemo registered five goals and 12 assists in 70 games. In 2001-02, he helped lead his Academy of Holy Angels team to the Minnesota High School State Championship, tallying two goals and 23 assists in 28 games. Hagemo finished his final prep season with a +53 rating.

Mike Howe is a 6-0, 185-pound forward from St. Cloud, Minn. Howe was also a member of the 2001 U.S. Under-18 Select Team. During his 2001-02 junior season at St. Cloud Apollo High School, Howe was 11th in the state in scoring with 35-26--61.

Derek Peltier joins the Maroon and Gold as a 6-0, 190-pound defenseman from Plymouth, Minn. He recently completed his second full season with the USHL's Cedar Rapids Roughriders and was one of the highest scoring defenseman in the league. Last season, he was 14th in the league during the regular season with 4-20--24. Peltier was also a member of the 2002 U.S. Under-18 Select Team. Peltier played for Robbinsdale Armstrong High School in 2001-02.

Kris Chucko is a 6-2, 190-pound forward from Burnaby, British Columbia. He recently finished his second season with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL). This season, Chucko finished second on the team and 12th in the league in scoring with 32-55--87 in 53 regular-season games. A team captain, he helped lead the Silverbacks to first place in the division and a runner-up finish in the BCHL Playoffs. Chucko was second on the team and ninth in the league in scoring during the playoffs with 10-10--20 in 14 games. A physical forward, Chucko is ranked as the 61st-best skater in North America in the NHL's Central Scouting Service mid-season rankings of top players eligible for the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Alex Goligoski joins the Gophers as a 6-0, 180-pound defenseman from Grand Rapids, Minn. With Grand Rapids High School in 2003-04, Goligoski had 25 goals and 31 assists to help lead the Thunderhawks to a runner-up finish in Section 7AA. He was a 2004 Mr. Hockey finalist, a member of the Associated Press All-State Team and the 2004 Duluth News Tribune Player of the Year. An offensive defenseman with great vision and quickness, Goligoski joined Sioux Falls Stampede of the United States Hockey League (USHL) following his prep season. Last spring, Goligoski played with the USHL's River City Lancers.

Tom Pohl joins the Maroon and Gold as a 6-1, 180-pound forward from Red Wing, Minn. The younger brother of former Golden Gopher Johnny Pohl, Tom recently completed his second season with the USHL's Tri-City Storm. He was third on the team and 28th in the league in scoring with 16-28--44 in 60 games. A highly skilled player with a strong work ethic, Pohl had seven goals and eight assists in 55 games with the Storm in 2002-03.

Evan Kaufmann, a 5-10, 175-pound forward from Tonka Bay, Minn., completed his first season with River City. An aggressive and talented player with great hockey sense, Kaufmann was fourth on the team and 18th in the USHL in scoring with 20-30--50 in 60 games. Before joining the Lancers, Kaufmann was a key player on his team at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School. During his senior season at Armstrong, he was named the Classic Lake Conference MVP, and was a member of the all-conference and all-state teams. He comes to the Gophers as a walk-on.

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