Gophers Lose Schroeder

     This Wednesday afternoon story from Roman Augustoviz of the Minneapolis Star Tribune on the professional departure of University of Minnesota scoring co-leader Jordan Schroeder, a sophomore center:

Jordan Schroeder is gone.

Three days after the Gophers’ hockey season ended, the sophomore center signed with the Vancouver Canucks.

The Canucks took Schroeder with the No. 22 pick in the first round of the 2009 NHL draft. Schroeder will probably be assigned to the Manitoba Moose, an AHL team in Winnipeg affiliated with the Canucks.

The 5-9, 180-pound Schroeder was picked to be the preseason WCHA Player of the Year by the media and co-Player of the Year by the coaches.

But Schroeder struggled as did his team, especially the first half of this season. He scored nine goals and had 19 assists for 28 points, tying for the team lead. But he was a minus-7 — worst on the team — and his offensive statistics dropped off substantially from his first college season.

As a freshman on the Gophers’ first line, Schroeder had 13 goals and 32 assists for 45 points. His 35 points in WCHA games were one behind linemate Ryan Stoa, who led the conference in scoring. Schroeder was named the WCHA’s Rookie of the Year and two leading college hockey web sites picked him as their national rookie of the year.

Schroeder helped Team USA to the gold medal at the world junior championships in January. He is the United States’ all-time scoring leader in world junior play.

Gophers coach Don Lucia said he expected Schroeder to turn pro at the end of this season. "He is obviously an elite player with a bright future ahead of him," Lucia said. "And always accelerated the whole way up. He will have a great career."

Lucia said Schroeder’s assist numbers would have been better if Jay Barriball, his right winger last season, stayed healthy. Barriball played only five games before a season-ending knee injury. Schroeder also lost his left winger when Stoa turned prol.

"[Schroeder] has great vision, he likes to be the set-up guy," Lucia said. "He always looked to pass."