SUNRISE, Fla. – Three incoming freshmen for the Gopher Hockey program were selected in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft as the University of Minnesota has now featured 197 total draft picks.
Brent Gates Jr. and Tommy Novak were selected in the third round by Anaheim (80th overall) and Nashville (85th overall), respectively, while Jack Sadek was drafted in the seventh round by Minnesota (204th overall).
A native of Grand Rapids, Mich., Gates has spent the last two seasons with the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL and skated at the 2015 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and the 2014 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game. He helped the U.S. Under-17 Team go undefeated to win the 2013 Under-17 Five Nations Tournament and competed with the U.S. Under-18 Team in a bronze-medal winning effort at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Tournament. Gates, whose father played college baseball at Minnesota and was a First Team All-American and the 1991 Big Ten Player of the Year before a seven-year career in Major League Baseball, was the No. 105 ranked North American skater in the 2015 NHL Central Scouting Services final rankings. The forward is just the second Gopher drafted by Anaheim (Jordan Leopold in 1999).
A native of River Falls, Wis., Novak was named to the 2014-15 USHL All-Rookie Second Team as a member of the Waterloo Blackhawks. Novak led the U.S. and finished second overall in scoring as the U.S. Junior Select Team won its sixth tournament in seven years at the 2014 World Junior A Challenge. A member of the All-Tournament team, the forward scored the overtime winner in the gold-medal game. Novak led all skaters in scoring as the U.S. Under-18 Team earned bronze at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Tournament and also helped the U.S. Under-17 Team win gold at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Tournament. The forward, who previously played at St. Thomas Academy, competed at the 2014 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game and the 2015 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Novak was ranked No. 28 among North American skaters in the 2015 NHL Central Scouting Services final rankings and is fourth Gopher drafted by Nashville (Zach Budish in 2009, Ryan Flynn in 2006 and Matt Koalska in 2000).
A native of Lakeville, Minn., Sadek spent three seasons at Lakeville North High School and closed out his prep career with the 2015 MSHSL Class AA State Championship and an unblemished 31-0 record. The defenseman, who was named to the 2015 Class AA Minnesota State Boys’ Hockey All-Tournament Team, led his team to three state tournament berths and two-straight South Suburban Conference titles. His father, Brett Sadek, and grandfather, Robert Sadek, played college football at Minnesota while his sister, Danielle Sadek, plays college hockey at Ohio State. He is also the cousin of Gopher Hockey alum Brady Skjei. Sadek was ranked No. 79 among North American skaters in the 2015 NHL Central Scouting final rankings and is the sixth Gopher Hockey prospect drafted by the Minnesota Wild (Nick Seeler, Nick Leddy, Erik Haula, Danny Irmen, Mike Erickson).
Gopher Hockey has now featured a selection in 41 of the last 42 NHL Entry Drafts.
The 2015-16 Gopher Hockey season marks the 95th campaign in program history. Minnesota enters the season having won four-straight regular-season conference championships for the first time in modern history while the team swept the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles last year – just the fourth time in program history the Gophers have won both titles in one year.