Brock Faber has been to Xcel Energy Center for plenty of Wild games.
Even last season he was there, when his former Gophers teammate Ben Meyers suited up for Colorado. Faber was captured on camera that night celebrating along the glass after Kirill Kaprizov scored against the Avalanche.
"It was a perfectly timed picture," he said.
Eventually, Faber could be on the other side of the boards with the Wild.
The Maple Grove native was traded to his hometown team on Wednesday by Los Angeles along with a first-round draft pick for Kevin Fiala, a change that continued a whirlwind few years for the defenseman.
"It was a pretty crazy day," said Faber, who was also named a captain for the Gophers on Wednesday. "It was a special one, though. It's something I'll remember for the rest of my life."
Starring for the Gophers and Wild was what Faber wanted, the two teams he had "hundreds" of jerseys of while growing up going to games, but his journey as a player hasn't been typical.
"It's been a crazy couple years for me," Faber said. "Obviously, it's been a pretty special two years for me, as well."
After a stint with the U.S. National Team Development Program, Faber was selected in the second round 45th overall by the Kings in 2020 during a virtual draft due to the pandemic. He went on to start his college career with the Gophers, win gold with the United States at the 2021 World Junior Championship from a bubble in Edmonton alongside the Wild's Matt Boldy, and more recently Faber skated in the Beijing Olympics earlier this year after the NHL pulled its participation.
Then came the trade, with Los Angeles landing a player in Fiala whom the Wild couldn't afford to re-sign. The Kings announced a seven-year contract with an average annual value of $7.875 million for Fiala on Thursday.
Aside from receiving Faber, a right shot, the Wild also acquired the 19th overall pick in next week's draft. The first round is Thursday in Montreal.
"In terms of the development, his process has been outstanding with the national team, then comes to the University of Minnesota, with the Olympics, with World Juniors," said Judd Brackett, the Wild's director of amateur scouting. "The first thing that really stands out is obviously his mobility, but he's also a leader out there. He's got great compete, manages the puck really well.
"But I think the key driver of the game is obviously his elite feet."
Faber won't have to wait too long to get on the ice with fellow Wild prospects.
He'll attend the team's development camp July 12-14 at Tria Rink, which will include practices and a 3-on-3 tournament also featuring the likes of Marco Rossi, Adam Beckman and last year's first-round picks Jesper Wallstedt and Carson Lambos.
As for next season, Faber will return to the Gophers; the 19-year-old was actually doing homework when he was called about the trade, which became public not long after he was revealed as one of three Gophers captains. Jackson LaCombe and Jaxon Nelson are the others.
"It's pretty special," Faber said. "There are a lot of names that came before me that had the privilege of wearing a letter on their jersey for the Gophers. That's something I don't take lightly."
One of his ambitions has already become a reality, representing the Gophers.
Now Faber has the chance to go 2-for-2.
"Obviously, I love playing here and I'd love to play for the Wild someday, as well," he said. "Just focusing on the summer and getting bigger and getting stronger. Just getting myself ready to hopefully be there someday."