Although the Minnesota High School seemed like it just ended, the hype of high school hockey never stops in Minnesota. I decided to break down the players and give you ten players to watch in each grade. After already breaking down the seniors (Seniors to Watch), next up the junior class of 2019. In no particular order, here are ten juniors to watch in the upcoming season:
Jake Hale – Forwards – Minneapolis (Minnesota-Duluth)
When you put up 46 points in the MSHSL as a sophomore you are going to turn a lot of heads. That is exactly what Jake Hale did last year. Hale is the kid from Minneapolis to commit division one since the early 1990s. He has a high complete level with quick hands and is a beast when it comes to protecting the puck. Hale looks to continue to put Minneapolis back on the map this season.
Ethan Frisch – Defenseman – Moorhead (North Dakota)
Ethan Frisch was a big part of a Moorhead team that finished second in the state last season behind Grand Rapids. Frisch has the great ability to make a strong first pass out of the d-zone. He is also not afraid to just up into the offensive rush either. With a strong work ethic, the smooth skating Frisch is only going to get better. He had 20 points in 31 games for the Spuds last year and I expect him to have even more ice time this season for the Spuds.
Ben Brinkman – Defenseman – Edina (Minnesota)
The talent from Edina never runs dry. Ben Brinkman was one of Edina best defensemen last year as only a sophomore. He had 24 points in 28 games including an impressive 12 goals from the back end. Brinkman is a future Minnesota Gopher with good size and smooth skating ability but isn’t afraid to use his body every now and then. Watch for him and Sam Walker to team up to make for one scary-good power play unit for the Hornets next season.
Bryce Brodzinski – Forward – Blaine (St. Cloud State)
The fourth and final Brodzinski boy, Bryce Brodzinski is a pure goal scorer. He is a big body forward that can make plays for himself and others. As a sophomore for the Blaine Bengals, he had 45 points including 27 assists. An outstanding playmaker, Bryce will be the focal point of the Bengals offense this season.
Mike Koster – Defensemen – Chaska (Minnesota)
Mike Koster was easily the best player on Chaska varsity team last season as just a sophomore. The young defenseman had 35 points, which led the team! He is a good position player who is great at breaking the puck out for his team. The 2019 class is loaded with talented defensemen but Mike Koster might be one of the best in my opinion. He will one day be suiting up for the maroon and gold.
Ben Helgeson – Forward – Hill-Murray (Wisconsin)
Power forward with a heavy shot best explain Ben Helgeson from Hill-Murray. The future Badger had 28 points last year and will be one of the captains for H-M this season. With another solid season, we could see him playing for Waterloo in the USHL sooner, rather than later. He has the size, he has the skill, it just matters if he wants to leave high school early or not.
Jack Perbix – Forward – Elk River (Notre Dame)
The younger brother of former Elk River defenseman Nick Perbix who is heading to St. Cloud State, Jack Perbix is a smart but aggressive forward committed to the University of Notre Dame. Jack racked up 40 points in his sophomore season. Jack has been known as a player that loves the puck on his stick especially late in the game when it matters most. He thrives on being a difference-maker and likes high-pressure situations.
Jack Jensen – Forward – Eden Prairie (Minnesota)
While everyone was excited to watch Casey Mittelstadt last year for Eden Prairie they got to see another young talent for the Eagles in the process. Jack Jensen was definitely an impact player last year for the Eagles tallying 43 points in 30 games. He is a two-way forward that uses his big body well to get to the net. It will now be his team in Eden Prairie and I will be excited to see what he can do now that all the attention will be on him this season.
Landon Langenbrunner – Forward – Cloquet
Son of former NHLer Jamie Langenbrunner, Landon Langenbrunner is a very smart hockey player that has a wicked wrist shot. He known to be a good leader on and off the ice too. Last season, Landon scored 15 goals for Cloquet in 27 games, he also added 18 assists to go along with it. Cloquet is a young but very talented team and could surprise some people in 7AA this year.
Jackson Jutting – Forward – Prior Lake
If you don’t already know about Jackson Jutting from Prior Lake, get to know him. He had 29 points including 18 assists for Prior Lake last season. Without a doubt, Jutting is one of the best 2001 in the state of Minnesota. He is a threat every time he crosses the blue line in the offensive zone. Watch out for Jutting because he is about to become a household name in the state of hockey.
Robert Christy – St. Thomas Academy
Ryder Donovan – Duluth East
Tyler Kostelecky – Maple Grove
Jack Bayless – Minnetonka
Shane Griffin – Lakeville North
If you would like to see the ten seniors I said to watch out for click here.
Sophomore to Watch coming soon!