Faber, LaCombe, Nelson named 2022-23 hockey captains

Head coach Bob Motzko announced three new captains for the Gopher men’s hockey team, who will take on the role in the upcoming season.

Gophers Defenseman Jackson Lacombe makes a pass at the 3M Arena at Mariucci on Friday, Feb. 28. The Gophers lost to Michigan 3-2.

Emily Urfer

Gophers Defenseman Jackson Lacombe makes a pass at the 3M Arena at Mariucci on Friday, Feb. 28. The Gophers lost to Michigan 3-2.

by Alex Karwowski

Minnesota Gophers head coach Bob Motzko announced on June 29 that defensemen Brock Faber and Jackson LaCombe as well as forward Jaxon Nelson will be captains for the 2022-23 season

The three were valuable assets to the Gophers’ success last year. Combined, they scored a total of 54 points, leading the Gophers to the Big Ten regular season title and the 22nd NCAA Frozen Four in program history.

The team will be entering its 102nd season of play, bringing the total number of gophers to serve as captain to 178. Team captains date back to the 1921-22 season.

Brock Faber, from Maple Grove Minnesota, was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings, but on June 29, the Kings traded his rights to the Minnesota Wild.

Last season, Faber became the third Gopher ever to receive the Big Ten defensive player of the year title and was selected for the academic All-Big Ten team. He also played for the U.S. Men’s Hockey team in the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.

Jackson LaCombe, from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, was drafted to the Anaheim Ducks in the second round of the 2019 NHL draft but will be returning to the Gophers for the 2022-23 season.

He has played more than 100 games in his tenure and has missed only four games throughout his career. All four can be attributed to his assistance with the U.S. National Junior Team and their gold medal victory at the 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Junior Championship.

The fourth-year defenseman was selected for the 2020-21 All-America second team. He was also named All-Big Ten each of the previous two seasons, after earning Big Ten-All Freshman team honors in his first season.

Jaxon Nelson, from Magnolia Minnesota, previously competed in the 2017 USA Hockey All American prospects game and is currently ranked fifth in Minnesota State High School history with 290 career points.

Nelson scored two goals against Penn State last November, resulting in a career-high of six goals for the year. He also tallied the game-winning goal in the 2021 Big Ten tournament title game against Wisconsin. He earned Academic All-Big Ten honors each of the last two seasons.

“These three are following in a long line of incredible Gopher leadership, and I know they’ll continue to carry that tradition this season,” Motzko said in a statement. “They have given their heart and soul to this program, so it’s only fitting that they have this opportunity to lead.”