NHL’s Rangers draft incoming Gophers freshman

by Charlie Armitz

Incoming freshman Gophers defenseman Brady Skjel was selected 28th overall by the New York Rangers in the 2010 NHL draft on Friday.

Skjel is the 18th Gophers hockey player to be drafted in the first round and the first since Nick Bjugstad was taken 19th overall by Florida in 2010.

"I am ecstatic they picked me," Skjel told the media at the draft. "This is the best city and a team I followed. It's a dream come true."

A native of Lakeville, Minn., Skjel spent the last two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., where he combined for five goals and 23 assists in 92 games. He was also a member of the gold-medal winning U.S. Under-18 World Championship team.

Skjel helped lead Lakeville North High School to the state tournament in 2010.

"Brady is a tremendous skater for somebody his size," Gophers coach Don Lucia said in a release. "He has a great reach and has tremendous potential. With added strength he has a very high ceiling."