Every season in the NHL you can usually find a guy having a great season who started his development playing high school hockey in the state of Minnesota. High school hockey in Minnesota has produced names such as; Nick Bjugstad (Blaine), Nick Leddy (Eden Prairie), Brock Nelson (Warroad), T.J. Oshie (Warroad), Paul Martin (Elk River), David Backes (Spring Lake Park), and many others. Seeing all these players having success in the NHL this year, it made me think about the next wave of talent coming through Minnesota High School Hockey. Check out my closer look at six Minnesota seniors that are in the middle of their season and are trying to get to the famous Minnesota State High School Hockey tournament. It has been compared to football in Texas and Minnesotans take their hockey very seriously. If you grew up in Minnesota, your dream is to lead your team on a “Trek To The X,” (famous saying kids say to describe their path to the Xcel Energy Center, where the tournament is held).
Dylan Malmquist-Edina-Forward-Committed to Notre Dame
Lets start by talking about Dylan Malmquist from Edina, the second ranked team in class 2A in Minnesota right now. Malmquist has 49 points in just 19 games for the Hornets, which is good for second on his team. The 5’10” 175lb forward, has been said to be the top ranked senior in the state of Minnesota. He has great speed and his vision is remarkable. He has led his team to 16-1-2 start to their season and they looked to defended their back-to-back state titles this year in March. Malmquist is committed to the University of Notre Dame but a weakness in his game is that he needs to get stronger and more physical. I look for him to play a year for the Lincoln Stars in the USHL before heading to Notre Dame.
Jake Jaremko-Forward-Elk River-Committed to Mankato State
The Town of Elk River hasn’t been this excited about an individual player since Paul Martin left and went to the University of Minnesota. Jake Jaremko is that good. Jaremko was ranked the 107th best skater in North America by NHL Scouting and could get drafted later this summer. The smooth skating, Jaremko, might have the fastest first three strides you have ever seen. He has 17 goals and 32 assist in 19 games this season and has his Elk River Elks ranked 9th in class 2A. Heading to Mankato next year, I look for him to have an impact in the WCHA right away.
Ben Newhouse-Defensemen-Benilde-St. Margaret-Committed to Union
Union College is getting a defensemen that is great at breaking out the puck and loves to jump into the offense rush. Ben Newhouse is a man that never wants to let go of the puck. Newhouse has 5 goals this season, which have all come on the power play. He leads all defensemen on his team in points with 13 and has Benilde ranked 10th in class 2A. Newhouse uses his great speed to fly all over the ice. Whether its jumping up into the play or racing to get back to play D, he does it all well. Heading to Union next year, he should take advantage playing with a defensemen like Jeff Taylor and being coached by Rick Bennett. Both will be huge influences for him if he wants to get to the next leave and play in the NHL. He is undersized now but has time to grow.
Jack Sadek-Defensemen-Lakeville North-Committed to Minnesota
Lakeville North already has 5 players committed to Division I colleges including Jack Sadek. Maybe that’s why they are 19-0 this season? Jack Sadek is ranked 83rd among skaters in North America by NHL Scouting. Jack Sadek has 14 points and is a +25 through 19 games this season! Sadek has a heavy shot and a quick release that the scouts love about him. He is 6’3” 185lbs and will use his big body frames to have success at the college level. I expect Sadek to head to juniors for a season before heading to the University of Minnesota. Sadek will be on lots of teams’ radar when the draft rolls around later this July.
Will Borgen-Defensemen-Moorhead-Committed to St. Cloud State
6’2” 180lbs two-way defensemen that loves to be physical and take the body, best describes Will Borgen, a senior defensemen from Moorhead, Minnesota. Ranked 194th by NHL Scouting, Borgen is a long shot to get drafted this season but don’t think that NHL team don’t have him on their radar. He has 18 points (4 goals and 14 assists) in 18 games for the Moorhead Spuds this season. His development needs to continue to grow, in which I believe he will head to the USHL for two seasons and then will really attract the attention of a lot of NHL scouts. This young kid has a bright future; he just needs to become more of a consistent player on the ice.
Dixon Bowen-Forward-East Grand Forks-Committed to North Dakota
Dixon Bowen’s childhood dream was to play for the University of North Dakota, well that dream is going to come true. The 5’11” 190lbs forward has his East Grand Forks team ranked 2nd in class 1A in Minnesota. He leads his team with 42 points (17 goals and 25 assists) and has them on the road to repeat as state champs this season. After this season Bowen will head to the USHL, where he will play a season for the Fargo Force before attending the University of North Dakota. Although Bowen dream was to play for UND, he has an opportunity to take his game farther. A big body forward like himself, he would be a huge asset to any team that would take a chance on in the NHL draft.
These are some amazing players to keep your eye on and remember their names because you could be hearing their names in the NHL in just a few years from now. Great talent has come from Minnesota High School Hockey and the next great wave is on its way!