Former Gophers hockey standouts Brady Skjei and Hudson Fasching will reunite as teammates on the U.S. men’s national team.
The pair was recently added to the U.S. roster and will compete at the 2016 International Ice Hockey Federation men’s world championship in May. They’ll be the first set of Gophers on the national roster since 2013.
Skjei, a defenseman from Lakeville was one of three additions Monday after his rookie season with the New York Rangers ended Saturday. Skjei closed out his postseason debut with an assist in the Game 5 loss to Pittsburgh. He contributed two assists and had a plus-1 rating in the playoffs.
Skjei played just seven regular-season games with the Rangers, but was called up in early April and immediately slid into a regular role. The former first-round draft pick played three seasons with the Gophers and was a two-time All-Big Ten Honorable Mention. It will be his third time representing the U.S. in international competition.
Fasching was added to the roster less than two weeks after making his NHL debut. The big forward from Burnsville, played seven games with the Buffalo Sabres after signing an entry-level contract in the days following the completion of his junior season with the Gophers. He scored a goal in his professional debut and added an assist in the season finale.
Fasching totaled 94 points (46 goals, 48 assists) in his three years with the Gophers. He co-led the team with a career-high 20 goals and 18 assists, and was an All-Big Ten Second Team honoree this past season. Fasching is scheduled to graduate early later this spring. He will be making his fourth international appearance with USA Hockey.
Fasching and Skjei are also both alumni of the U.S. National Team Developmental Program based in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Former Gophers All-America defenseman Todd Richards will serve as an assistant coach. He was the head coach in 2015 with fellow Gophers All-America honoree Mike Reilly on the roster.
The IIHF world championship runs May 6-22 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. The U.S. has won bronze in two of the last three years, but has never finished better than third since the shift to the modern tournament format.
The Big Ten will be represented by seven players on the U.S. roster, including four from Michigan. St. Cloud State product Matt Hendricks is also on the roster.