Skjei leaves Gophers for Rangers; Brodzinski leaves SCSU for Kings

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Minnesota Golden Gophers defenseman Brady Skjei is leaving the University of Minnesota for a professional contract within the New York Rangers organization.

The news broke via the American Hockey League's transaction wire, where Skjei is shown to have signed an amateur tryout contract with the Rangers minor-league affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack.

SB Nation says Skjei projects to be a shutdown defender in the NHL.

According to the Star Tribune, the Rangers wanted to sign Skjei after his sophomore season but the Lakeville, Minnesota, native chose to play another year under head coach Don Lucia.

The Star Tribune adds that goalie Adam Wilcox and defenseman Mike Reilly, the two-time reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, are also expected to forgo their senior seasons to turn pro.

Travis Boyd, Kyle Rau and Seth Ambroz, all of whom were seniors, have also signed pro contracts within the past week.

Brodzinksi leaving St. Cloud State

Huskies forward Jonny Brodzinski is forgoing his senior season at St. Cloud State to sign a professional contract with the Los Angeles Kings.

Pro Hockey Talk notes that Brodzinski, a former Blaine High School star, had 21 goals and 38 points in 40 games this season. It was his third straight 20-plus-goal season. If he joins the Kings' AHL affiliate, he'll be reunited with former Huskies Nic Dowd and Kevin Gravel.

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