At least the one's that are still here can play
According to the Star Tribune, 16 players from the WCHA hockey conference went pro last year. Of these, only six are playing in the NHL, while the others are playing in amateur leagues. Three of these players were gophers. This creates a large hole, both in the conference, and especially in the Gopher hockey team. The WCHA conference has 80 freshman players and 48 seniors. Because of this, coaches and players feel that they will never be the same team-they can't build on anything-from year to year and that every season is a completely new start.
The Pioneer Press reports this aspect of the Gopher performance perfectly.
"Minnesota had six freshmen in the lineup, and Okposo ( a player) noted that there will be a learning curve."
""It's all part of growing as a team," he said. "We're a young team; it's going to happen. We just need to rebound."