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Updated: July 11th, 2014 9:23am
Kyle Rau to return to Gophers hockey team for senior season

Kyle Rau to return to Gophers hockey team for senior season

by Nate Sandell
1500ESPN.com
Email | Twitter

The Gophers hockey team received more good news this week after standout forward Kyle Rau confirmed he plans to return to Minnesota for his senior season.

Rau made his decision public in a video interview while at the Florida Panthers' developmental camp. The Gophers officially announced Rau's return Thursday evening.

"Deep down, I know that we have unfinished business here," Rau said via Gophersports.com. "With the talent we have coming back and the new guys coming in, I think we can have a really special season next year. I'd also like to thank the Florida Panthers. They are a great organization, and I appreciate their understanding of my decision."

Rau, selected by the Panthers in the third round of the 2011 NHL draft, led the Gophers in scoring last season (14 goals, 26 assists) and helped guide them to the national championship game.

Apart from Rau, junior goalie Adam Wilcox and sophomore forward Hudson Fasching have also informed the Gophers they are coming back for another season, according to the Star Tribune's Jason Gonzalez.

As a result, Minnesota has now avoided all potential early departures from its championship game squad. Brady Skjei and Mike Reilly already had announced they were opting to hold off on signing professional contracts for another year. The Gophers will enter the 2014-15 season having lost only five graduating seniors.

Nate Sandell is a contributor to 1500ESPN.com.
Email Nate | @nsandell
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