Gophers star Logan Cooley not returning, signs entry-level deal with Coyotes

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))

Logan Cooley will not be returning to the University of Minnesota men’s hockey team for his sophomore season after all.

Cooley’s time with the Gophers is over after one season. The Arizona Coyotes announced on Thursday they’ve signed him to a three-year, entry-level deal. Cooley led the Gophers in scoring last year with 60 points in 22 games. He led Minnesota with 22 goals, and 38 assists. His 60 points were also second in the NCAA.

Cooley teamed up with Matthew Knies and Jimmy Snuggerud last season to form one of the top lines in college hockey. The Gophers won their second straight Big Ten regular season title, and made a run to the NCAA title game before losing to Quinnipiac.

Cooley was a top-3 finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, which goes annually to the top player in college hockey. He was also the No. 3 overall draft choice by the Coyotes last year. 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.

Cooley also helped lead Team USA to a bronze medal at the 2023 World Junior Championships with seven goals and seven assists over seven games.

He had announced back in April he was returning to the Gophers, along with Justen Close and Jaxon Nelson. Cooley now joins a group that includes Brock Faber, Jackson LaCombe and Knies all leaving for the NHL.