Jimmy Snuggerud is returning for his Junior year at Minnesota! Photo by Craig Cotner.
Jimmy Snuggerud is returning for his Junior year at Minnesota! Photo by Craig Cotner.

Snuggerud Announces He’s Back for 24-25

Minneapolis, Minn. — While the Gophers knew they were going to be saying goodbye to graduate Jaxon Nelson as he signed his contract with the Boston Bruins this week, the future of sophomore Jimmy Snuggerud was something less certain. A quick social post Tuesday afternoon cleared it up and the team’s leading goal score will be back for his junior year.

“I am excited to announce I’m coming back to the University of Minnesota next season,” said Snuggerud. “It was a tough ending to this season, and I feel like we have some unfinished business to accomplish. I am committed to this team and excited for the opportunity next year with the Gophers. I watched Brock Faber come back for his junior year and I feel like I can take the same path as Brock to the NHL, and help the Gophers win a national championship.”

While the Chaska native said he had no clue about his timeline for deciding to turn pro or stay back after his team’s loss to Boston University in the Sioux Falls Regional, there were some signs that he might not be done with college hockey. When asked about what he had taken from the season and guys like Nevers, Nelson and Brodzinski, the sophomore was very reflective of their impact.

“I learned a lot more than I ever have taken from a season I’d say. This year was a lot and I learned so much as a player and as a person,” said Snuggerud. “I think just playing in different situations and playing different roles… I learned so much and I think a lot of guys on our team did and we can all grow from it.”

There was some gratitude from Snuggerud towards Jaxon Nelson who delayed signing a professional contract to get one more shot at a national championship. Snuggerud said his captain’s character and grit was evident throughout the whole second half of the season and that Nelson’s contributions left this team better than he found it. 

“They’re just such good human beings and such good leaders on and off the ice. Being fortunate enough to live with them, I’ve learned so much from them as a person and as a player,” said Snuggerud. “I think just about maturing and things like that. You learn so much from those guys, and it’s really sad to see some of them go like this.”

Snuggerud has had an eventful two seasons so far with the Gophers since the St. Louis Blues drafted him 23rd overall in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. He has 42 goals and 42 assists in 79 games played, he’s a two-time All-Big Ten Conference selection and won a gold medal at the 2024 IIHF World Junior Championship. His back to back 20 plus goal seasons puts him in the company of Nick Bjugstad, Ryan Potulny, Thomas Vanek, Troy Riddle, and Erik Westrum as the only Gophers to score 20 or more goals in back-to-back seasons since 2000 and only he and Vanek accomplished that milestone in their first two collegiate seasons.

While some fans may have felt burned last season with Logan Cooley’s announcement to return to school, but then eventually turn professional, they should know that sources shared Snuggerud is well aware of that concern and he’s all in on being back to campus next year. Snuggerud is signed with Dinkytown Athletes for another year, he’s content with the decision and has made sure the Blues are on board as well.

“After talking to Jimmy and his family the past couple days, the organization fully supports his decision to commit to another season at the University of Minnesota,”said  St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong in a statement. “We look forward to watching his continued development towards becoming a solid contributor for the St. Louis Blues in the future by playing a lead role for the Golden Gophers against top college competition next year.”

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