Puck Drop
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Logan Cooley, one of the top players available in the 2022 NHL draft, has changed his college commitment from Notre Dame to the Gophers.

The 17-year-old center for the U.S. National Team Development program in Plymouth, Mich., Cooley is the No. 2-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting for the 2022 draft. The Pittsburgh native originally committed to the Fighting Irish but reopened his recruiting in November. On Thursday, he updated his Instagram account with Minnesota as his college choice and posted a cartoon image of Goldy Gopher's head.

Cooley, 5-10 and 174 pounds, has 15 goals and 26 assists in 29 games for the USNTDP Under-18 team this season and leads the squad with an average of 1.41 points per game. He played one game for Team USA in the World Junior Championship in December before the tournament was canceled. In 2020-21, Cooley had 16 goals and 16 assists in 28 games for the U.S. Under-17 team and four goals and 10 assists in 19 games for the Under-18 squad.

Cooley was a linemate of Gophers freshman forward Matthew Knies during the World Juniors and told NHL.com that he was keeping in touch with his former teammates as they played in the Beijing Olympics. Cooley played against the Gophers on Jan. 3 in an exhibition game at 3M Arena at Mariucci. He had two assists as the Gophers beat the U.S. Under-18 team 5-3.

Chris Peters, NHL draft and prospect analyst for the Daily Faceoff and Hockey Sense, has Cooley first in his midseason draft rankings.

"Cooley has just about all of the tools modern NHL teams look for. His speed, the pace at which he can make plays and his high-end skill all make him stand out,'' Peters wrote. "… He's the type of player you want to have the puck as much as possible because he's going to do something effective with it.''