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Gopher defenseman Skjei confirms return to U


Gopher Hockey defenseman Brady Skjei confirmed that he will return to the University of Minnesota for his junior season in 2014-15.

Skjei was participating at the New York Rangers Prospect Development Camp when he informed the organization of his decision on Thursday.

"I can't wait to come back and build off of what we accomplished last year," Skjei said in a press release. "It's a new season and a new team, but I'm excited about our potential."

Skjei has helped the Gophers to back-to-back regular season conference titles since he joined the team in 2012-13. He posted career highs last year with 14 points, six goals and eight assists.

The Lakeville native has tallied 17 points in 76 games for the Gophers.

He is the 19th Gopher to be selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft. The Rangers selected Skjei 28th overall in 2012.

Skjei joins fellow junior defenseman Mike Reilly putting off professional hockey to return to the Gophers. His decision leaves just Kyle Rau and Adam Wilcox as the only remaining question marks for the Gophers.

Back in May, Rau told the Star Tribune he didn't want to rush his decision. After the NHL draft and the start of free agency an announcement on Rau could be coming soon.

According to the Star Tribune, talk around the team is that Wilcox has also decided to return, but no announcement has been made yet.

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