It was an up and down decade for the Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey team. Minnesota had mirrored seasons of missing the NCAA Tournament at the beginning and the end of the decade, but a great run in the middle capped with a NCAA runner-up finish in 2014. As always, tons of talented players came through the Gopher program in the last ten years, but not all lived up to the potential. All of the players here are selected for what they did on the ice for the Gophers—not for the hype they came in with, or for some how much professional success they have had after leaving the U. Here are my selections for the Minnesota Golden Gopher Hockey All-2010’s Team;
Goalie: Adam Wilcox
Wilcox was the best Goalie Minnesota had in the 2010’s. His 115 games played lead all Gopher goalies in the decade. His 2.09 GAA is the best in school history. His 13 shutouts are tied for the most in school history. His .922 save percentage is second in school history, He was one of the reasons why the Gophers made it to the NCAA title game in 2014. Wilcox definitely tops this list.
Defensemen: Mike Reilly and Nate Schmidt
Reilly and Schmidt lead this list for their offensive play, but both were solid defensive defensemen as well. Reilly is the no brainer as in his 117 career games in the maroon and gold he scored 18 goals, added 71 assists and was a two-time First Team All-American in 2014 and 2015. #MuralCred
Schmidt may have had the better NHL career to this point,but he was no slough at the U. In his 96 games he scored 12 goals, added 62 assists and was a Second Team All-American in 2013. Of course Schmidt’s most famous Gopher moment helped the Gophers claim the MacNaughton Cup in 2012.
Forwards: Kyle Rau, Justin Kloos, Eric Haula
Rau is the Captain and the MVP of this list. He played the most games of any Gopher in the decade (160) He scored the most points, goals and assists of any Gopher in the decade (164, 67, 97) . And of course one of the best cellys of the decade:
Justin Kloos is #2 on the list for top scorers of the decade. His 63 goals and 87 assists in 155 games helped Minnesota win the first four straight Big Ten Regular Season titles.
The third spot on the first team had a ton of competition, but we will give it to a fan favorite in Eric Haula. He was an assist master with the Gophers recording 82 of them in 114 career games. He added 42 career goals in the maroon and gold.
Goaltender: Eric Schierhorn
Schierhorn’s Gopher career ended on a bit of a down note having had his playing time sniped by Mat Robson, but Schierhorn was still statisticially the second best goalie of the decade. He was the Big Ten goalie of the year in his freshmen and sophomore seasons in 2016 and 2017. His 112 games played are fourth in program history and just three behind Wilcox for the most in the decade. His 12 shutouts are just one off of the program record. His .905 save percentage and his 2.65 GAA both rank him in the top ten all time in program history. If not for a bit of a slide late in his career, he may have eclipsed Wilcox for the top spot.
Defensemen: Jake Bischoff, Brady Skeji
Bischoff was a four year star for the Gophers who was a great shot blocker and also an offensive threat. In 139 career games Bischoff scored 17 goals and recorded 51 assists, and led the Big Ten in shot blocking for two seasons. He earned the 2017 B10 Defensive Player of Year.
Skeji left after his junior season for the pros but in three years became one of the best defensemen for the Gophers. Hos scoring numbers were not as high as several of Minnesota’s other defensemen, but he was a shut down blue liner and kept other teams stars from scoring.
Forwards: Tyler Sheehy, Nick Bjugstad, Rem Pitlick
Sheehy put up scoring numbers galore in two of his seasons with the Gophers...and struggled with injuries in another. His 2017 All-American season was one to be remembered though. For his career he would play in 149 games, and score 56 goals and 93 assists. Not bad for a kid that was almost both a Badger and a Buckeye.
Bjugstad was one player the Gophers wish they could have kept one more season. His scoring touch seemed to get better and better over his career at the U. In three seasons Bjugy played in 109 games and scored 54 goals while adding 44 assists.
Pitlick can join Bjugstad in the wish he had stayed one more year club. Pitlick’s Junior season was one for the record books earning First Team All-American honors. In three seasons Pitlick played in 112 games and scored 47 goals and 61 assists.
Goaltender: Mat Robson
Robson only played a season and a half for the Gophers but he put his name in the record books by setting the career save percentage park at .924. He added a 2.57 GAA, and two shutouts in 45 career games with Minnesota.
Other Honorable Mention: Kent Patterson
Defensemen: Seth Helgeson, Ben Marshall
This gets a bit tougher, but we find two guys with good numbers who played the entire decade in the 2010s. Helgeson was a tough physical D-man who in 150 games for the Gophers recorded 27 points....and 222 penalty minutes.
Marshall was the more offensive type of defensemen. In 159 career games he scored 17 goals and added 44 assists.
Other Honorable Mentions: Justin Holl, Mike Brodzinski
Forwards: Hudson Fasching, Vinni Letteri, Nate Condon
Fasching was once again just seeming to peak when he left after his junior season for the pros. In 115 career games he scored 46 goals and 48 assists.
Lerreri was a total late bloomer. After being an after thought his first two seasons he improved in his junior year and exploded to carrewr highs in just about everything his senior season. In 149 games he scored 37 goals with 46 assists.
Condon was one of those players who wasn’t the flashy player on the ice, but was insanely solid and could do it all from power play to penalty kill. In 159 career games with the Gophers he scored 40 goals and added 63 assists.
Honorable Mentions: Travis Boyd, Zach Budish, Sam Warning, Taylor Mattson, Sammy Walker
Here is to a 2020’s decade that will hopefully see the Gophers getting back to the top of the heap for the first time since 2003!