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Minnesota Hockey: Three Future Gophers Selected in the NHL Draft

One Gopher freshman and two recruits heard their name called

HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY: JAN 04: White Bear Lake at Edina
Jake Boltmann was a surprise third round draft pick

Three future Minnesota Golden Gophers were selected on the second day of the NHL Draft on Wednesday with a fourth conspicuously not selected. Minnesota has now had a player selected in 46 of the last 47 NHL Drafts.

Brock Faber from Maple Grove was the first Gopher selected. The incoming freshman defenseman who played the last two seasons with the US National Development Team was selected with the #46 overall selection in the second round by the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings traded up six slots to pick the six foot blueliner.

The second future Gopher defenseman would go a round later when the Calgary Flames selected Edina’s Jake Boltmann with the 80th overall selection. Boltman who is playing with the Lincoln Stars in the USHL this season is set to join the Gophers for the 2021-22 season. Boltmann was selected earlier than many experts had predicted, but will have an opportunity over his Minnesota career to prove the flames right.

The third future Gopher to be selected was Blake High School’s Joe Miller who was selected with the 180th pick in the sixth round by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Miller is set to play with the Chicago Steel in the USHL this season before enrolling at the U in 2021. Miller lead Blake to a third place finish in the Minnesota Class AA State Tournament last spring scoring 8 goals and adding 17 assists in six section and state tournament games. Miller who just turned 18 last month is the youngest player in the draft.

The one potential future Gopher who did not hear his name called was Rosemount defenseman Jake Ratzlaff. Ratzlaff who is committed to Minnesota for hockey was forecast to be a fifth to seventh round selection, however he was not selected. The most likely reason for this is that Ratzlaff has been vocal about trying to decide which sport is the one he will want to play in the future, hockey or football. Ratzlaff is also a 4-star linebacker prospect who has offers from both the Gophers and the Wisconsin Badgers. Ratzlaff has told Wisconsin recruiting sites that he likes both schools and after the NHL Draft would make a decision on his future. By not being selected, it may be clear he has made that decision and he may not be a Gopher hockey commit for long. His main calls from the 612 area code may be coming more from PJ Fleck then Bob Motzko. If he does go the football route, hopefully the Gophers can keep him inside the state’s borders.