2008-09: Christian Isackson played high school hockey as a junior for Minnesota’s Saint Thomas Academy, scoring 18 goals with 39 assists in 27 games. He played for the United States at the Five Nations U-17 tournament in Slovakia and had one assist in four games for the second-place squad. Isackson committed to playing college hockey at the University of Minnesota in 2011-12.
2009-10: Isackson was one of the finalists for Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey award as a senior at Saint Thomas Academy, scoring 25 goals with 35 assists and a +13 plus/minus in 28 games. Prior to the high school season, he competed for Team Southeast in the Minnesota-based Upper Midwest Elite League, scorning 11 goals with 11 assists in 22 games.
2010-11: Isackson played for the Sioux Falls Stampede in the USHL. In 58 regular season games he scored 17 goals with 27 assists and was +5 with 31 PMs. He scored 3 goals with 5 assists in 10 playoff games as the Stampede reached the Clark Cup semifinals. Isackson was +8 with 8 PMs in the playoffs.
2011-12: Isackson appeared in 11 games as a freshman as part of a talent-laden forward group for the University of Minnesota. The Golden Gophers had 13 NHL draftees up front including five seniors. Isackson was minus-two with no points and 2 penalty minutes in limited ice time. Minnesota was one of the top teams in college hockey, winning the WCHA regular season title and reaching the NCAA’s Frozen Four. Minnesota avenged a loss to North Dakota in the WCHA semifinals; defeating the Fighting Sioux in the NCAA West Regional final.
2012-13: Isackson skated in all 40 games for Minnesota in his sophomore season. Playing both winger and center during the year, he finished the season on the Gophers’ second line with center Nick Bjugstad and left wing Kyle Rau (both Florida prospects). Isackson scored 4 goals with 16 assists and was +6 with 20 penalty minutes. Minnesota tied St. Cloud State for first in the WCHA but the season came to a disappointing end as the Gophers lost to Colorado College, 2-0, in a WCHA semifinal game and lost in overtime to eventual national champion Yale in an NCAA West Regional semi-final.
2013-14: Isackson shuffled in and out of the lineup for the University of Minnesota as a junior. He scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was +1 with no penalties in 19 games. Minnesota finished first in the newly-formed Big Ten hockey conference and advanced to the Frozen Four championship game. After an upset loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament semifinals the Gophers defeated Robert Morris and St. Cloud State to capture the NCAA West Regional and then defeated North Dakota, 2-1, with a game-winning short-handed goal in the game’s final second. Union defeated Minnesota, 7-4, in the championship game.
2014-15: Isackson has played both center and wing for the University of Minnesota in his senior season. He primarily played a fourth line role for the Golden Gophers. Minnesota won its second straight Big Ten regular season title and defeated Michigan, 4-2, in the Big Ten championship game to earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
Isackson is a big player who was a skilled playmaker coming out of high school hockey in Minnesota. He has been a lower line player during his college career for a University of Minnesota program that has a deep group of forwards. His lack of elite skating ability and lack of size and strength have been a challenge at the college level.
Isackson finished his four-year NCAA career with just eight goals in 109 games. He was never able to live up to expectations of becoming an elite scorer, but had a steady role on one of the top teams in the country. Isackson is not expected to be signed by the Sabres and will become a free agent.