Gophers hockey: Logan Cooley returning for sophomore season

Logan Cooley #92 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers celebrates his goal against the Boston University Terriers during game one of the 2023 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Frozen Four Championship Semifinal at the Amaile Arena on April 6, 2023 in Tampa, Flo ((Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images))

The University of Minnesota men’s hockey team got some big news on Friday: After losing three players immediately after the season to the NHL, arguably their best player is coming back for next season.

Logan Cooley, a First-Team All-Big Ten pick and Hobey Baker Award finalist, is returning to Minnesota for his sophomore season. Cooley finished second in the country in scoring with 60 points, and led the NCAA with 38 assists. Playing with Matthew Knies and Jimmy Snuggerud on the Gophers’ top line, Cooley helped led the Gophers to a Big Ten regular season title and run to the NCAA title game.

Cooley, a Pittsburgh native, was the No. 3 overall draft choice by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2022 NHL Draft.

He had six game-winning goals as a freshman, and Minnesota was 16-1 on the season when he scored. He also had 27 points in 19 games against top-10 teams. Cooley finished the season with 12 points in six postseason games.

Snuggerud announced back in April that he’s returning to the Gophers next season, as is goalie Justen Close and Jaxon Nelson. After losing the national championship to Quinnipiac in overtime, Brock Faber, Jackson LaCombe and Knies all left to start their NHL careers.