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UConn transfer Matthew Wood expected to join Gophers

Nashville Predators first-round pick forward Matthew Wood is expected to join the Gophers next season



After plenty of smoke all week, the consensus top overall player in the transfer portal, UConn forward, Matthew Wood is expected to commit to the Gophers. He entered the portal early last week and there had been rumors connecting him to North Dakota and Michigan, but Minnesota was able to seal the deal and land the Nashville Predators’ first-round pick

The 2024 Frozen Four is days away from taking place in St. Paul, Minnesota and the hometown Gophers are at home getting a head-start on their offseason. Landing a player of Wood’s caliber makes digesting the disappointing missed opportunity a lot easier for fans of Minnesota hockey.

Where does Matthew Wood fit in?

A native of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Wood is one of the best long-term prospects in college hockey. Before arriving in Storrs, he had a two-year stint in the BCHL with the Victoria Grizzlies, appearing in 64 games scoring 50 goals with 48 assists for 98 total points. He showed flashes in his first year with the Huskies, scoring 11 goals with 23 assists for 34 points. This led to him getting selected 15th overall by the Nashville Predators in the 2023 NHL Draft.

Last season for UConn, Wood totaled 16 goals and 12 assists, as his team struggled finishing the year 15-19-2. Now with Minnesota, he has a chance to form the best line in college hockey for next season. He joins Jimmy Snuggerud and Oliver Moore as first-round picks with elite play-making ability.

What’s Next?

Landing a player of Matthew Wood’s caliber is something that should be celebrated by all fans of University of Minnesota sports. Dinkytown Athletes and the Gophers have seemed to figure out their NIL situation. Logan Cooley strongly considering a return last season, Snuggerud returning this season and now landing Matthew Wood is pretty evident that they have figured out how to handle major college athletics.

Under Bob Motzko it seems like the Gophers will always have National Title aspirations, but adding a player like Wood will only lift those expectations next season for the Maroon & Gold.

A lifelong Minnesota sports fan, Tony Liebert is one of the biggest voices in Gophers sports coverage and the owner of Within the realm of credentialed media, Tony refined his abilities while serving as the lead writer for Gopherhole and as the sports editor at the Minnesota Daily during various stages of his career. Work has been featured on Bleacher Report, Yardbarker, and more.