Justin Kloos named Gophers hockey captain


In 2010 Nick Bjugstad was Minnesota's "Mr. Hockey" winner and eventually became an alternate captain for the Gophers. Kyle Rau won the Mr. Hockey award a year later and eventually became a captain for the Gophers. Now, the 2012 Mr. Hockey winner is the newest captain of the Gophers.

Head coach Don Lucia on Wednesday named Justin Kloos, a junior forward from Lakeville, the 2015-16 captain of the team.

"Justin has been a program-first player since he arrived on campus," Lucia said in a statement. "He's a terrific teammate, a hard worker and a great example of how we want our student-athletes to carry themselves on and off the ice. He is a great representative of our program and the University of Minnesota, and we are excited to name him as our team captain for the upcoming season."

Kloos called it a "huge honor" to follow in the footsteps of past Minnesotans he grew up watching.

But unlike Bjugstad and Rau, and most other Gopher captains of past, Kloos is the first undrafted player to be named captain since Judd Stevens in 2004-05, according to SB Nation.

Kloos was a scoring machine in high school with 103 points in 31 games his senior year at Lakeville South, according to MN Hockey Hub. His ability to find the back of the net hasn't faded; he led the Gophers with 16 goals as a freshman and as a sophomore last season he tallied 13 goals and 19 assists.

64 points (29 goals, 35 assists) in 80 games and helped lead the team to two consecutive Big Ten titles and NCAA tournament berths, respectively. He was the Gophers’ fourth-best scorer last season with 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists).

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