Ten Seniors to Watch in the MSHSL

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, starting today with the seniors. These ten are players that could be battling it out for Mr. Hockey next season and this group includes 7 division one commits (currently). In no particular order, here are my ten seniors to watch for next year season:

Carter Randklev – Forward – Moorhead (Arizona State)

l5jnpnipLast year we knew Carter Randklev was a good player but watching him at the state tournament, he was extremely impressive. He is shifty, has quick hands and skates past most defensemen with his speed. Even though he’s a smaller kid, he knows how to get to the net. Randklev scored 33 goals in 31 games last year and added 27 assists to his point total. If Moorhead looks to get back to the tourney, Randklev will have a huge impact doing so.

Dev McCabe – Forward – St. Paul Academy (Minnesota-Duluth)

Dev McCabe is a player that would have love to see more of last year but due to late season suspension we didn’t see him in the section playoffs and SPA was knocked out in the section finals. I expect McCabe to come into this season very hungry and eager to get his team to the state tournament. The future bulldog had 29 goals in 24 games last season. He is a forward with good size and a heavy shot.

Ben Almquist – Forward – Holy Family (Wisconsin)

Holy Family was a team that was stacked with talented juniors last season and they ran into a dominant Eden Prairie team, which included Casey Mittelstadt, in the section finals. Ben Almquist was one of those talent juniors. He is crafty centerman with good hands that loves to move the puck. Almquist had 35 assists last season and I look for him to increase that number this year.

James Marooney – Defenseman – Holy Family (Ohio State)

Continuing with the Holy Family trend, James Marooney will hold down the blue line this year for the Fire. Last season, James had 29 points in 28 games for Holy Family. He is a commit of the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Marooney’s are a big hockey family, James has two older brothers playing college hockey, Cody at Alabama-Huntsville and Joey at Minnesota.

Luke Loheit – Forward – Minnetonka (Minnesota-Duluth)

Luke Loheit has great size and skates well for his size. After dominating at the Bantam level he committed to Minnesota-Duluth but has yet to have that breakout year at the high school level. Only 13 points in 26 games for Minnetonka last year, I expect for him to have much impact on the team this season.

Sam Walker – Forward – Edina (Minnesota)

ed23walker

Photo creds: John Sherman

 

The speedy Sam Walker will be the captain again of the Edina Hornets and has great intangibles to impact the game. Walker had a great junior year, tallying 52 points in 28 games. The only player to outscore Walker in his conference was Mittelstadt. The future Minnesota Gopher is in search of his second state title and could get it down with another breakout season.

Grant Anderson – Defenseman – Wayzata (Nebraska-Omaha)

After a disappointing regular season, Wayzata once again turned it on during the playoffs and made it back to the state tournament. Grant Anderson was one of the leaders on that team, especially on the back end. Anderson had 24 points and quarterbacked the power play. Anderson has the luxury of being coach by Pat O’Leary who preaches defense. Look for Anderson to have another strong season and maybe add a little more to the goal column with his heavy shot.

Jared Moe – Goalie – Holy Family

Jared Moe is the best goalie in the state in my opinion. He is a big goalie with great athleticism that can steal a game at any moment. Last season he went 22-5-1 with 1.54 GAA and .920SV%. To improve on those numbers would be incredible but wouldn’t be surprised if he did it, he is that good. With a great team in front on him, Moe is in line to have another great season with a chance at deep into the playoffs and state tournament.

Lucas McGregor – Forward – Centennial

55 points in 28 games for Lucas McGregor last season. He is a kid with top-end hands and vision. McGregor is a strong skater that will be the focal point of Centennial’s team this year. You will see him out there on the penalty kill and the power play. He is a difference-maker and will have to have a huge season for the Cougars to get back to the state tournament.

 

0bz4ciu0y8tt4njnqa0w2lwpscwm

Photo creds: Louie St. George (Duluth News Tribune)

Luke Lamaster – Defenseman – Duluth East

 

Luke Lamaster is a defenseman that will make his presences felt at both ends of this ice. He 6’ 1” and a strong kid, he will have a huge roll on Duluth East this season who might be the favorites to come out of section 7AA this year. Lamaster had 16 points last season and would be surprised if he doubled that next season.

Honorable mentions:

Tyler Borsch – Maple Grove

Griffin Ness – Wayzata

Jack Olsen – Lakeville South

Garrett Worth – Duluth East

Chase Foley – St. Thomas Academy

***** I am also assuming that these players will leave year to the USHL

Gavin Hain – Grand Rapids (USHL Sioux Falls)

Blake McLaughlin – Grand Rapids (USHL Chicago)

Zach Stejskal – Grand Rapids (USHL Bloomington)

Colin Schmidt – Wayzata (USHL Waterloo)

Coming soon: 10 Juniors to Watch and 10 Sophomores to Watch

Advertisements
Posted in Sports | 4 Comments

Bicks 2017 NHL Mock Draft

With the Draft Lottery complete, we now know the order of the top 15 picks in the upcoming NHL Draft in June. In the lottery, we saw some crazy movement including the Philadelphia Flyers jump up to the second pick and the New Jersey Devils receiving the first overall pick (poor Colorado, who fell to fourth…). In this draft, there are no franchise-changing players like Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews but it still has some quality talent at the top. Here my prediction of the top 15 picks in the 2017 NHL draft.

nico-hischier

  1. New Jersey Devils – Nico Hischier, C, Halifax (QMJHL)

Many people thought it was going to Nolan Patrick at the top of this draft but Nico Hischier has had an excellent year with the Halifax Mooseheads, scoring 86 points in 57 games. Hischier is a skilled centerman that plays well in all three zones.

  1. Philadelphia Flyers – Nolan Patrick, C, Brandon (WHL)

Nolan Patrick was the MVP of the WHL as a 17-year-old and was on his way to being the clear number one overall draft pick in 2017 but struggled with injuries this season. As the captain for the Brandon Wheat Kings, he had 46 points in 33 games. Standing at 6’2”, 200 lbs., Patrick seems to be on the path to being a great center in the NHL if he can stay healthy.

  1. Dallas Stars – Casey Mittelstadt, C, Eden Prairie (MN-HS)

Last year the Dallas Stars chose Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey winner, Riley Tufte as their first round selection. This year I think they should go right back to the State of Hockey and drafted Casey Mittelstadt with the third overall pick. Mittelstadt dominated Minnesota high school hockey, scoring 64 points in 25 games, and winning Mr. Hockey. He also played before and after in the USHL with the Green Bay Gamblers where he led the USHL in points per game. Mittelstadt is a gifted offensive player with incredible hockey sense.

  1. Colorado Avalanche – Michael Rasmussen, C, Tri-City (WHL)

Three words describe Michael Rasmussen. Big Power Forward. He is a towering 6’6” 215 lbs. and is a guy that loves getting to the front of the net and mixing it up. Kind of sounds like a bigger Gabriel Landeskog? Exactly and with Avs looking to be in rebuild mode and Landeskog’s name has been mentioned in trade rumors. Rasmussen would be a perfect fit for the Avs to replace him. At Tri-city this year had 55 points in 50 games.

  1. Vancouver Canucks – Cody Glass, C, Portland (WHL)

For the Portland Winterhawks, Cody Glass tallied 94 points in 69 games which was good for 7th in the WHL. He’s a player that seems to be in the right spots because of his great hockey IQ. Glass blasted on this year and now could be a top-5 pick because he’s a dangerous two-way center.

  1. Vegas Golden Knights – Gabe Vilardi, C, Windsor (OHL)

61 points in 49 games this season for Gabe Vilardi in the OHL. He his a player maker that makes everyone around him better. If you were an expansion team like Vegas, taking a player like Vilardi would be perfect to build your franchise around. He can create in traffic and has great poise on the power play. He is a type of player that is mature for his age and could probably step right into the NHL next season.

  1. Arizona Coyotes – Miro Heiskanen, D, HIFK (FIN)

This draft class does not have many strong defensemen (as you see with me picking 6 centers to start the mock draft) but in my opinion, Miro Heiskanen is the best d-man in this class. Playing in the top Finnish league as 17-year-old, Heiskanen elite two-way defensemen. He’s a smooth skater and looks to one day be a guy that can log heavy minutes in the NHL. He offensive skills include quarterback power play with impressive puck skills.

  1. Buffalo Sabres –Cale Makar, D, Brooks (AJHL)

When one defenseman goes, another usually follows. Playing in the AJHL, Cole Makar put up 74 points in 54 games and was named the league’s MVP, not to mention he led his team to the league championship (also was named playoff MVP too). As you can see by his point totals, Makar is a highly skilled offensive defensive with the ability to skate to safety when need be. He’s not quite ready for the NHL but next year we can see how he does against better competition playing for Umass-Amherst in the NCAA.

  1. Detroit Red Wings – Owen Tippett, RW, Mississauga (OHL)

With the best shot in the draft, Owen Tippett is a pure goal scorer. Tippett had 75 points, including 44 goals, in 60 games in the OHL for the Mississauga Steelheads. Everyone knows about his impressive but he also has outstanding skating ability, many compare him to Phil Kessel. He needs to improve in the d-zone but that likely to come with maturity. Tippett would be a steal for the Red Wings if he falls to them at nine.

  1. Florida Panthers – Klim Kostin, C/LW, Dynamo Moscow (RUS)

Klim Kostin is the No. 1 ranked international skater and you would think he would already be off the board by the 10th pick but he had a shoulder surgery in January that is making him slide a bit in the draft. He is a big-body forward who is extremely hard to bump of the biscuit.

  1. Los Angeles Kings – Timothy Liljegren, D, Rogle (SWE)

Call him the Tom Brady of this draft because Timothy Liijegren is the best quarterback of the power play in this draft. Many considered him the best defensemen in the draft heading into this season but with a season filled will illness he was never able to show off his potential. Don’t sleep on him though; his hockey smarts when jumping into the rush are second to none. Watch for him to have a breakout year in the Swedish Elite League next season.

  1. Carolina Hurricanes – Eeli Tolvanen, RW, Sioux City (USHL)

The best player in the USHL this season has been Eeli Tolvanen, for the Sioux City Musketeers (who happen to be the best team in the league too). Tolvanen had 54 points, including his 30 goals, in 52 games. You can tell when you watch him play his has a high compete level, great work ethic and always want to win. He is heading to Boston College, where he should be able to have an impact right from the start.

  1. Winnipeg Jets – Elias Pettersson, C, Timra (SWE-2)

Elias Pettersson is a player that is pretty good at everything. He had 41 points playing for Timra in division 2 of the Swedish League. His best attribute is his playmaking, sees the ice very well and knows where to put the puck. He definitely needs more time to develop but has the skillset to become a solid pro in due time.

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning – Cal Foote, D, Kelowna (WHL)

Cal Foote is the son of former Colorado Avalanche standout, Adam Foote. If Cal were to go 14th in the draft, he would beat his dad by 8 spots, who went 22nd overall in the 1989 draft. Cal had a very productive year in the WHL with the Kelowna Rockets; he had 57 points in 71 games. He is aggressive two-way defensemen who loves to create changes for his team. He will good special teams guy at the next level too.

  1. New York Islanders – Nick Suzuki, C, Owen Sound (OHL)

If you like offense, you love Nick Suzuki! He had 96 points for the Owen Sound Attack in the OHL this season. He is on the smaller end but he makes up for by playing big and thick and is being quick and shifty. Not mention he was one of the most effective penalty killers in the OHL this season. The kid can use his speed to cause havoc onto any team’s power play.

Posted in Sports | Leave a comment

The Bigger Picture of a USHL Team in Minnesota

When people suggest bringing a United States Hockey League (USHL) team back to Minnesota, many questions pop into their head. Many debates, that it will not work because Minnesota has tried it before and failed. Others argue that the hockey market is too saturated and Minnesota does not have the fan base to support it. Furthermore, (and my favorite argument) some claim that having a USHL team in Minnesota will hurt the culture of the beloved High School hockey. These are all questions that seem to make people shy away from the idea of adding a USHL team to Minnesota. My goal of this piece is not to necessarily convince you to hop off the USHL bandwagon but to inform you about some of the positives of bringing a USHL team to Minnesota.

Minnesota has had two USHL franchise (four different teams) in the past and all failed due to lack of attendance and poor funding. The Rochester Mustangs/Austin Mavericks existed in the USHL from 1961-1970 and 1977-2002. Some notable players from these teams included; Herb Brooks, Lou Nanne, and Bob Fleming. The other franchise was the St. Paul/Twin Cities Vulcans, which existed from 1977-2000. Notable Vulcans include; Phil Housley, Jim Johnson, Trent Klatt and Johnny Pohl. The first thing we have to look at when comparing these teams to a present day team is the fact that league itself is completely different than it was back then. Back then, the USHL wasn’t considered a tier 1 junior hockey development league. Today, the USHL is considered to be in the top-3 junior leagues in the world. It attracts the best players from all over the world and 95% of its players receive Division I scholarships. If you need to know more about the USHL, watch this video: USHL VIDEO. Stars in the NHL like TJ Oshie, Blake Wheeler, Johnny Gaudreau, Jack Eichel, Dylan Larkin, Auston Matthews and many others played in the USHL on the way to the NHL. The three finalists for college hockey’s most prestige award, the Hobey Baker, are all USHL alumni. The USHL has now become the preferred route of player development by many colleges and NHL scouts.

I understand Minnesota has an NHL team, five D1 teams, ten D3 teams, three NAHL teams, six NA3HL teams, and heavy high school hockey following but there is still room for a USHL team. Here’s why; If a team was to come to Minnesota, it would probably replace an existing NAHL or NA3HL team. For example, if the team were to come back to Rochester, it could replace the Rochester Icehawks and maybe even the Austin Bruins of the NAHL (could also become an affiliate). The location of Rochester is perfect because far enough away from other teams it would have to compete with attendance. 75 miles south of St. Paul, 86 miles southeast of Minneapolis, 80 miles west of Mankato, Rochester is a hole in the State of Hockey that loves the game. The proposed plans for the new Rochester Arena would also draw hockey fans to the area. This arena would be perfect for a USHL team and could attract other hockey events to Minnesota like the NCAA College Hockey Regionals and much more.

There is no doubt that there are hockey fans all over the state. A USHL team will consist of future D1 athletes and high school hockey heroes that you will recognize from across the state. Going to USHL game would potentially be much cheaper than attending a Wild or collegiate hockey game. If you have been to a USHL game before you can back me on this, it is some of the best/most exciting hockey you will ever watch. You are going to see the same level of talent as you as would at a D1 game. The USHL team will attract fans for a bargain price compared to the other options while still getting to see great hockey. It could be right here in our backyard.

There is no bigger fan of high school hockey in Minnesota than myself. But that, by no means, should shy you from supporting a USHL team in Minnesota. High school hockey has a rich and beautiful tradition and a USHL will not team take away from that. USHL players come from all over the country, all over the world even. What the USHL would do for Minnesota is provide another stage of the development process for the kids that want to move on to the next level and stay home in the State of Hockey. We will still have incredible talent at the high school level. As a fan of hockey, you want to see kids competing at the highest level possible. If that means leaving your senior year of high school to play in the USHL, so be it. You cannot hate the player for that. He is trying to play at the highest level and move on to the next level. We see how beloved the high school game is every year at the Xcel Energy Center in March. 18,000+ fans are there for The Tourney and that’s not going to change anytime soon as attendance continues to increase year by year. But wouldn’t you love to see those kids you see play at “X,” play in at home in the USHL too? Not many kids can make the jump from the Minnesota State High School League to D1. Many kids need a year or two at the junior hockey level to develop more before heading to college. With all the talent we have here, shouldn’t Minnesota have the best development league for our hometown heroes to succeed in?

Like I said earlier, I’m not trying to tell you to hurry up and go support a USHL coming to Minnesota. However, I am encouraging you to consider the possibilities and weigh the positives and negatives of bringing a USHL team to Minnesota. In my opinion, it only seems right to have the best junior hockey league in the State of Hockey.

Bicks Blog

 

Posted in Sports | Leave a comment

SparkNotes for College Hockey Regionals

xkqfblduuccctmw-20151206035231The 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Championship start up this weekend and we are in-store for some excellent hockey. Here is the key stats you need to know for the Regionals, all in one place!

West Region

North Dakota (21-15-3) vs. Boston University (23-11-3)

Friday March 24 – 3 p.m.

Top Scorers: UND

  1. #19 Gersich 21G 16A (No. 134 overall by WSH)
  2. #17 Jost 16G 19A (No. 10 overall by COL)
  3. #16 Boeser 16G 17A (No. 23 overall by VAN)
  4. #3 T. Poolman 7G 23A (No. 127 overall by WPG)
  5. #14 Poganski 12G 13A (No. 110 overall by STL)

Top Scorers: BU

  1. #19 Keller 20G 22A (No. 7 overall by ARI)
  2. #21 Harper 12G 22A (No. 138 overall by NSH)
  3. #23 Forsbacka-Karlsson 13G 19A (No. 45 overall by BOS)
  4. #14 Carpenter 13G 18A
  5. #18 Greenway 10G 20A (No. 50 overall by MIN)

 

Minnesota-Duluth (25-6-7) vs. Ohio State (21-15-3)

Friday March 24 – 6:30 p.m.

Top Scorers: UMD

  1. #14 Iafallo 18G 27A
  2. #7 A. Johnson 17G 19A
  3. #4 Pionk 7G 25A
  4. #13 J. Anderson 10G 20A (No. 73 overall by NJD)
  5. #19 Toninato 15G 12A (No. 126 overall by TOR)

Top Scorers: OSU

  1. #26 Jobst 19G 36A
  2. #7 Schikey 27G 14A
  3. #17 Gust 18G 23A
  4. # 8 Joshua 12G 22A (No. 128 overall by TOR)
  5. #16 Weis 9G 22A

 

East Region

Harvard (26-5-2) vs. Providence (22-11-5)

Friday March 24 – 4 p.m.

Top Scorers: Harvard

  1. #17 Malone 18G 24A (No. 159 overall by BUF)
  2. #2 Moy 18G 23A (No. 175 overall by NSH)
  3. #14 Kerfoot 16g 25A *Hobey Baker Finalist
  4. #16 Donato 20G 18A (No. 56 overall by BOS)
  5. #18 Fox 5G 31A (No. 66 overall by CGY)

Top Scorers: Providence

  1. #26 Pinho 12G 28A (No. 174 overall by WSH)
  2. #12 Foley 15G 19A (No. 78 overall by WPG)
  3. #15 Wilkins 13G 18A
  4. #19 Walman 7G 18A (No. 82 overall by STL)
  5. #10 Conway 12G 11A

 

Western Michigan (22-12-5) vs. Air Force (26-9-5)

Friday March 24 – 7:30 p.m.

Top Scorers: WM

  1. #7 Iacopelli 20G 14A (No. 83 overall by CHI)
  2. #17 Molino 14G 17A
  3. #27 Allison 12G 17A (No. 52 overall by PHI)
  4. #8 Dries 15G 14A
  5. #29 Conrad 13A 16A

Top Scorers: AF

  1. #10 Himley 20G 13A
  2. #16 Haak 12G 18A
  3. #15 Giesler 11G 18A
  4. #4 Boje 8G 20A
  5. #18 Feno 7G 18A

 

Northeast Region

UMass Lowell (26-10-3) vs. Cornell (21-8-5)

Saturday March 25 – Noon

Top Scorers: UML

  1. #5 Gambardella 18G 33A
  2. #19 Smith 22G 28A
  3. #29 Edwardh 18G 19A
  4. #25 Zink 10G 25A
  5. #3 Kapla 3G 26A

Top Scorers: Cornell

  1. #14 Vanderlaan 15G 13A
  2. #27 McCarron 6G 19A
  3. #7 Weidner 8G 16A
  4. #15 Yates 12G 10A
  5. #17 Angello 12G 8A (No. 145 overall by PIT)

 

Minnesota (23-11-3) vs. Notre Dame (21-11-5)

Saturday March 25 – 3:30 p.m.

Top Scorers: UMN

  1. #22 Sheehy 20G 33A *Hobey Baker Finalist
  2. #25 Kloos 18G 24A
  3. #19 Lettieri 18G 18A
  4. #18 Bristedt 12G 20A
  5. #15 Pitlick 14G 17A (No. 76 overall by NSH)

Top Scorers: ND

  1. #10 Bjork 19G 28A (No. 146 overall by BOS) *Hobey Baker Finalist
  2. #15 Oglevie 19G 20A
  3. #18 Evans 13G 25A (No. 207 overall by MTL)
  4. #3 Gross 10G 20A
  5. #25 Malmquist 10G 13A

 

Midwest Region

Denver (29-7-4) vs. Michigan Tech (23-14-7)

Saturday March 25 – 1 p.m.

Top Scorers: DU

  1. #5 Borgström 21G 17A (No. 23 overall by FLA)
  2. #7 Gambrell 11G 26A (No. 60 overall by SJS)
  3. #19 Terry 19G 17A
  4. #4 Butcher 6G 29A (No. 123 overall by COL) *Hobey Baker Finalist
  5. #14 Lukosevicius 11G 16A

Top Scorers: MTU

  1. #11 L’Esperance 10G 16A
  2. #22 Hanna 8G 18A
  3. #3 Roy 5G 20A (No. 194 overall by LAK)
  4. #7 Sturos 11G 13a
  5. #25 Neville 7G 16A

 

Union (NY) (25-9-3) vs. Penn State (24-11-2)

Saturday March 25 – 4:30 p.m.

Top Scorers: Union

  1. #21 Vecchione 29G 33A *Hobey Baker Finalist
  2. #15 Foo 24G 36A *Hobey Baker Finalist
  3. #27 Vidmar 14G 26A
  4. #18 Supinksi 8G 28A
  5. #2 J. Taylor 9G 24A (No. 203 overall by PIT)

Top Scorers: PSU

  1. #25 Smirnov 17G 28A
  2. #9 Goodwin 11G 25A
  3. #16 Sturtz 21G 13A
  4. #14 Succse 15G 17A
  5. #8 Berger 11G 21A
Posted in Sports | Leave a comment

The Tourney 17 Cheat Sheet

With the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament approaching, here is a cheat sheet to get you ready for #TheTourney17.

CLASS AA

Section 1AA Representative: Lakeville South Cougars 18-9-1

Top scorers during the regular season:

  1. #10 Josh Ess (28) Senior (Committed to Wisconsin)
  2. #21 Sam Malinski (27) Senior
  3. #3 Bradley Golant (26) Senior

Top scorer in the playoffs: Zach Zemlak and Jake Oelrich (6)

Key Wins: Duluth East and Lakeville North

Key Losses: Stillwater and Holy Family

*Making it back to the state tournament for the first time since 2012

 

Section 2AA Representative: Eden Prairie Eagles 21-4-2

Top scorers during the regular season:

  1. #11 Casey Mittelstadt (64) Senior (Minnesota) *Mr. Hockey Finalist
  2. #27 Hunter Johannes (45) Senior
  3. #18 Jack Jensen (38) Sophomore (Minnesota)

Top scorer in the playoffs: Mittelstadt (5)

Key Wins: Edina and Stillwater

Key Losses: Grand Rapids and Edina

*#4 Nicky Leivermann is a senior defensemen for EP who is a Mr. Hockey Finalist committed to Notre Dame

 

Section 3 AA Representative: St. Thomas Academy Cadets 23-4-1

Top scorers during the regular season:

  1. #23 Willie Reim (45) Senior
  2. #2 Robbie Stucker (40) Senior
  3. #15 Ray Christy (37) Junior

Top scorer in the playoffs: Robbie Stucker (7)

Key Wins: Holy Family and Minnetonka

Key Losses: Hill-Murray and Lakeville North

*STA looking for their first state title in Class AA, have 5 titles in Class A. They outscored their opponents 18-1 in their section tournament.

 

Section 4AA Representative: Hill-Murray Pioneers 19-5-4

Top scorers during the regular season:

  1. #20 Brock Bremer (40) Senior
  2. #9 Kyler Yeo (50) Senior
  3. #1 Jake Begley (1.62 GAA .936SV%) Senior *Frank Brimsek Finalist

Top scorer in the playoffs: Ben Helgeson (7)

Key wins: Elk River and Edina

Key losses: Moorhead and St. Thomas Academy

*Also watch #14 Sophomore defenseman Ben Helgeson who is committed to Wisconsin

 

Section 5AA Representative: Maple Grove Crimson 22-6-0

Top scorers during the regular season:

  1. #19 Sam Huff (62) Senior
  2. #9 Justin Kelley (48) Senior
  3. #6 Jack Kelly (30) Senior

Top scorer in the playoffs: Kostelecky (7)

Key wins: Wayzata and Hill-Murray

Key losses: Elk River and Holy Family

*Making their second state tournament appearance in school history.

 

Section 6AA Representative: Wayzata Trojans 10-17-1

Top scorers during the regular season:

  1. #22 Griffin Ness (26) Junior
  2. #3 Colin Schmidt (24) Junior (Minnesota)
  3. #21 Grant Anderson (22) (Nebraska Omaha)

Top scorer in the playoffs: Andrew Urban (3)

Key Wins: Edina and Hermantown

Key Losses: Eden Prairie and Grand Rapids

*Wayzata upset Edina in the Section 6AA Finals. Wayzata is the defending Class AA Champions

 

Section 7AA Representative: Grand Rapids Thunderhawks 20-7-1

Top scorers during the regular season:

  1. #20 Micah Miller (56) Senior (SCSU) *Mr. Hockey Finalist
  2. #7 Blake McLaughlin (49) Junior (Minnesota)
  3. #8 Gavin Hain (48) Junior (North Dakota)

Top scorer in the playoffs: Micah Miller (8)

Key Wins: Duluth East and Eden Prairie

Key Losses: Moorhead and Holy Family

*Making their 16th state tournament appearance. Micah Miller scored in double OT to beat Duluth East in the Section 7AA final.

 

Section 8AA Representative: Moorhead Spuds 22-3-3

Top scorers during the regular season:

  1. #6 Carter Randklev (46) Junior
  2. #11 Cole O’Connell (41) Junior
  3. #21 Jack Stetz (38) Junior

Top scorer in the playoffs: Randklev (9)

Key Wins: Hill-Murray and Grand Rapids

Key Losses: Prior Lake and Brainerd

*Watch for #5 Ethan Frisch a sophomore defenseman who is committed to North Dakota and had 16 points during the regular season

 

CLASS A

Section 1A Representative: Northfield Raiders 20-5-3

Top scorers during the regular season:

  1. #22 Jacob Halvorson (41) Junior
  2. #5 Grant Sawyer (36) Senior
  3. #11 Jackson Cloud (36) Senior

Top scorer in the playoffs: Grant Sawyer (6)

Key wins: Rochester Lourdes, Red Wing

Key losses: St. Cloud Cathedral, New Prague

*Making their first state tournament appearance in school history.

 

Section 2A Representative: Delano Tigers 24-3-1

Top scorers during the regular season:

  1. #27 Ben Meyers (99) Senior (Maine) *Mr. Hockey Finalists
  2. #26 Brian Halonen (81) Senior (Michigan Tech)
  3. #7 John Keranen (68) Senior

Top scorer in the playoffs: Ben Meyers (8)

Key wins: Breck and St. Cloud Cathedral

Key losses: Hermantown and Holy Family

*Making their first state tournament appearance in school history. Also, watch out for #37 freshman forward Garrett Pinoniemi who is committed to St. Cloud State.

 

Section 3A Representative: Luverne Cardinals 22-5-1

Top scorers during the regular season:

  1. #14 Kasyn Kruse (57) Junior
  2. #9 Nick Harder (37) Junior
  3. #10 Ben Serie (35) Sophomore

Top scorer in the playoffs: Ben Serie (4)

Key wins: Marshall and Orono

Key losses: St. Paul Academy and Totino-Grace

*Making its second state tournament appearance in school history. Average 5.68 goals per game in the regular season

 

Section 4A Representative: Mahtomedi Zephyrs 16-11-1

Top scorers during the regular season:

  1. #2 Luke Posner (45) Senior
  2. #27 Charlie Batholomew (18) Junior
  3. #15 Matt Vannelli (18) Senior

Top scorer in the playoffs: Luke Posner (5)

Key wins: St. Cloud Cathedral and St. Thomas Academy

Key losses: Hermantown and Breck

*Making their 9th appearance to the state tournament, last time they made it was 2015.

 

Section 5A Representative: Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake Moose 21-6-1

Top scorers during the regular season:

  1. #5 Ben Ward (57) Junior
  2. #17 Nick Zwack (46) Senior
  3. #18 Troy Dahleimer (35) Sophomore

Top scorer in the playoffs: Ben Ward (14)

Key wins: Buffalo and Chisago Lakes

Key losses: St. Cloud Cathedral and Sartell

*Making their first state tournament appearance in school history.

 

Section 6A Representative: St. Cloud Cathedral Crusaders 20-6-2

Top scorers during the regular season:

  1. #4 Jake VanHalbeck (58) Senior
  2. #19 Michael Spethmann (55) Senior
  3. #8 Nate Warner (34) Freshman

Top scorer in the playoffs: Michael Spethmann (12)

Key wins: Monticello and Northfield

Key losses: Hermantown and Delano

*St. Cloud Cathedral average 9 goals per game during the sectional playoffs, out scoring their opponents 27-4

 

Section 7A Representative: Hermantown Hawks 26-1-1

Top scorers during the regular season:

  1. #11 Ryan Sandelin (63) Senior (Minnesota State Mankato) *Mr. Hockey Finalist
  2. #8 Jesse Jacques (51) Senior
  3. #4 Matt Valure (42) Senior

Top scorer in the playoffs: Ryan Sandelin (8)

Key wins: Grand Rapids and Bemidji

Key losses: Wayzata

*#12 Dylan Samberg is senior committed to Minnesota Duluth and is a Mr. Hockey Finalist. He has 28 points this season.

 

Section 8A Representative: East Grand Forks Green Wave 17-8-2

Top scorers during the regular season:

  1. #14 Nick Lund (33) Senior
  2. #8 Hunter Olson (30) Senior
  3. #21 Coby Stauss (24) Junior

Top scorer in the playoffs: Bauer Brown (5)

Key wins: Warroad and Bemidji

Key losses: Greenway and Thief River Falls

*Looking for their 3rd state title in school history, they went back-to-back in 2014/2015.

 

Good luck to all the teams, players, and coaches that have made “the trek to the X.” It is a dream come true for a lot of players and we, as fans, are in for a treat this year. The Tourney 17 is loaded with talent and I expect a great tournament from these teams.

Enjoy!

2017 Commits in the State Tournament

Grant Anderson Wayzata Junior Nebraska Omaha
Joshua Ess Lakeville South Senior Wisconsin
Ethan Frisch Moorhead Sophomore North Dakota
Gavin Hain Grand Rapids Junior North Dakota
Brian Halonen Delano Senior Michigan Tech
Ben Helgelson Hill-Murray Sophomore Wisconsin
Jack Jensen Eden Prairie Sophomore Minnesota
Nicky Leivermann Eden Prairie Senior Notre Dame
Ben Meyers Delano Senior Maine
Blake McLaughlin Grand Rapids Junior Minnesota
Micah Miller Grand Rapids Senior St. Cloud State
Casey Mittelstadt Eden Prairie Senior Minnesota
Garrett Pinoniemi Delano Freshman St. Cloud State
Dylan Samberg Hermantown Senior Minnesota Duluth
Ryan Sandelin Hermantown Senior Minnesota State
Colin Schmidt Wayzata Junior Minnesota

 

Top Uncommitted players in the State Tournament (By Class)

Seniors

1 Sam Huff Maple Grove HS
2 Jake Begley Hill Murray HS
3 John Stampohar Grand Rapids HS
4 Noah Sullivan Eden Prairie HS

Juniors

1 Tyler Borsch Maple Grove HS
2 Jack Olsen Lakeville South HS
3 Carter Randklev Moorhead HS
4 Griffin Ness Wayzata HS
5 Chase Foley St. Thomas Academy

Sophomore

1 Isaac Howe Moorhead HS
2 Robert Christy St. Thomas Academy
3 Darian Gotz Hermantown HS
4 Tyler Kostelecky Maple Grove HS
5 Trevor Kukkonen Maple Grove HS

 

Posted in Sports | 1 Comment

Minnesota High School Hockey Sectional Preview

Minnesota High School Hockey is coming down to the wire and the section playoffs are right around the corner. When we get this far along in the season, we can not help to start making predictions on whose is going to make it to the “The Tourney 17” and continue their quest at a state title.

CLASS AA

Section 1

Favorites: Lakeville North (18-5-2) and Lakeville South (15-9-1)

Sleeper Team: Farmington (8-16-1)

Players To Watch: Lakeville North: #21 Henry Enebak (SCSU) 44 points, #11 Keaton Pehrson (Mich. Tech) 29 points

Lakeville South: #10 Josh Ess (Wisco) 28 points

Farmington: #25 Darby Grengs 23 points

My Pick: Lakeville North

 

Section 2

Favorites: Eden Prairie (19-4-2) and Holy Family (20-4-1)

Sleeper Team: Minnetonka (14-11-0)

Players To Watch: Eden Prairie: #11 Casey Mittelstadt (UMN) 64 points *MR.HOCKEY FINALIST, #18 Jack Jensen (UMN) 38 points, #4 Nicky Leivermann (Notre Dame) 34 points *MR.HOCKEY FINALIST

Holy Family: #11 Ben Almquist (Wisco) 49 points, #22 James Marooney (OSU) 26 points, #3 Matt Anderson (UMD) 26 points *MR.HOCKEY FINALIST

Minnetonka: #9 Bobby Brink (Denver) 26 points, #23 TJ Rogers 28 points, #8 Luke Loheit (UMD) 12 points

My Pick: Eden Prairie

 

Section 3

Favorites: St. Thomas Academy (20-4-1) and Burnsville (16-8-1)

Sleeper Team: Eastview (14-10-1)

Players To Watch: St. Thomas Academy: #2 Robbie Stucker 40 points

Burnsville: #3 Roman Ahcan 51 points

Eastview: #8 Zach Anderson 26 points

My Pick: St. Thomas Academy

 

Section 4

Favorites: Stillwater (22-3-0) and Hill-Murray (16-5-4)

Sleeper Team: White Bear Lake (14-7-4)

Players To Watch: Stillwater: #11 Noah Cates (UMD) 64 points *MR.HOCKEY FINALIST

Hill-Murray: #1 Jake Begley .936 SV% **FRANK BRIMSEK FINALIST, #14 Helgelson (Wisco) 21 points

White Bear Lake: #17 Chase Hamstad 42 points

My Pick: Hill Murray

 

Section 5

Favorites: Centennial (20-4-1) and Maple Grove (19-6-0)

Sleeper Team: Blaine (13-11-1)

Players To Watch: Centennial: #11 Lucas McGregor 46 points

Maple Grove: #19 Sam Huff 62 points

Blaine: #22 Bryce Brodzinski (SCSU) 40 points

My Pick: Maple Grove

Section 6

Favorite: Edina (18-6-1)

Sleeper Teams: Cretin Derham Hall (18-7-0) and St. Louis Park (17-7-1)

Players To Watch: Edina: #10 Sam Walker (UMN) 46 points, #23 Bram Scheerer (Colorado College) 36 points, #17 Ben Brinkman (UMN) 21 points, #2 Jake Boltmann (UMN) 14 points

CDH: #5 Matt Gleason 41 points

SLP: #8 Bauer Neudecker 73 points *MR.HOCKEY FINALIST

My Pick: Edina

 

Section 7

Favorites: Grand Rapids (17-7-1) and Elk River (21-4-0)

Sleeper Team: Duluth East (16-8-1)

Players To Watch: ER: #6 Nick Perbix (SCSU) 40 points *MR.HOCKEY FINALIST, #12 Jack Perbix (Notre Dame) 35 points, #11 Benton Maass (UNH) 29 points

GR: #20 Micah Miller (SCSU) 56 points *MR.HOCKEY FINALIST, #7 Blake McLaughlin (UMN) 49 points, #8 Gavin Hain (UND) 48 points

DE: #5 Garret Worth 31 points

My Pick: Elk River

 

Section 8

Favorite: Moorhead (19-3-3)

Sleeper Teams: Bemidji (14-10-1) and St. Michael-Albertville (19-4-2)

Players To Watch: Moorhead: #6 Carter Randklev 46 points, #5 Ethan Frish (UND) 16 points

STMA: #2 Blake Spetz 30 points

Bemidji: #19 Brady Tatro 25 points

My Pick: Moorhead

 

CLASS A

Section 1

Favorites: Rochester Lourdes (15-10-0) and Northfield (17-5-3)

Sleeper Team: Mankato East (13-8-4)

Players To Watch: Rochester Lourdes: #2 Montana Streit 40 points

Northfield: #22 Jacob Halvorson 41 points

Mankato E: #14 Jake Anderson 36 points

My Pick: Rochester Lourdes

 

Section 2

Favorites: Breck (20-3-2) and Delano (21-3-1)

Sleeper Team: Orono (16-9-0)

Players To Watch: Breck: #15 Mitch Machlitt 55 points, #25 Dalton Weigel 44 points

Delano: #27 Ben Meyers (Maine) 99 points *MR.HOCKEY FINALIST, #26 Brian Halonen (Mich. Tech) 80 points, #37 Garrett Pinoniemi (SCSU) 18 points

Orono: #21 Nick Anderson 35 points

My Pick: Delano

 

Section 3

Favorites: Luverne (19-5-1) and Marshall (17-7-1)

Sleeper Team: Litchfield (14-9-1)

Players To Watch: Luverne: #14 Kasyn Kruse 57 points

Marshall: #6 Dylan Criquet-Danielson (Oklahoma for baseball) 56 points

Litchfield: #3 Casey Peterson 46 points

My Pick: Luverne

 

Section 4

Favorites: Mahtomedi (13-11-1) and St. Paul Academy (21-4-0)

Sleeper Team: St. Paul Johnson (17-6-2)

Players To Watch: Mahtomedi: #2 Luke Posner 45 points

St. Paul Academy: #9 Dev McCabe (UMD) 60 points, #11 Matt Dahlseide 69 points

St. Paul Johnson: #16 Isaac Moberg 42 points

My Pick: St. Paul Academy

 

Section 5

Favorites: Monticello/Annandale/Maple Lake (18-6-1) and Pine City (18-7-0)

Sleeper Team: North Branch (16-8-1)

Players To Watch: Monticello: #5 Ben Ward 57 points

Pine City: #2 Brendan Westbrook 67 points

North Branch: #27 Brady Meyer 54 points

My Pick: Monticello

 

Section 6

Favorite: St. Cloud Cathedral (17-6-2)

Sleeper Teams: Satrell-St. Stephen (16-6-3) and Alexandria (15-7-3)

Players To Watch: Cathedral: #4 Jake Vanhalbeck 58 points, #18 Mack Motzko 26 points

Sartell: #22 Will McCabe 43 points

Alexandria: #7 Ben Doherty 60 points

My Pick: St. Cloud Cathedral

 

Section 7

Favorite: Hermantown (23-1-1)

Sleeper Teams: Greenway (17-7-1) and Hibbing (17-8-0)

Players To Watch: Hermantown: #11 Ryan Sandelin (Minn. St.) 63 points *MR.HOCKEY FINALIST, #12 Dylan Samberg (UMD) 28 points *MR.HOCKEY FINALIST

Greenway: #11 Taylor Lantz 60 points

Hibbing: #12 Jarrett Lee 48 points

My Pick: Hermantown

 

Section 8

Favorite: East Grand Forks (14-8-2)

Sleeper Teams: Thief River Falls (9-15-0) and Northern Lakes (20-4-1)

Players To Watch: EGF: #14 Nick Lund 33 points

TRF: #16 Aaron Myers 36 Points

Northern Lakes: #22 Josh Maucieri 72 points

My Pick: East Grand Forks

Posted in Sports | Leave a comment

Bicks’ NHL Predictions 2016-17

Eastern Conference

Metropolitan

  1. Washington Capitals (Z)
  2. Pittsburgh Penguins (X)
  3. New Jersey Devils (X)
  4. Philadelphia Flyers
  5. New York Rangers
  6. New York Islanders
  7. Columbus Blue Jackets
  8. Carolina Hurricanes

 

Atlantic

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning (Z)
  2. Montreal Canadiens (X)
  3. Boston Bruins (X)
  4. Florida Panthers (WC)
  5. Detroit Red Wings (WC)
  6. Buffalo Sabres
  7. Toronto Maple Leafs
  8. Ottawa Senators

 

Playoff Picture

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Detroit Red Wings (TBL in 5)

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Boston Bruins (Boston in 7)

Montreal Canadiens vs. New Jersey Devils (MTL in 5)

Washington Capitals vs. Florida Panthers (WSH in 7)

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Boston Bruins (TBL in 7)

Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens (MTL in 7)

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens (TBL in 7)

 

Western Conference

Central

  1. Dallas Stars (P)
  2. Chicago Blackhawks (X)
  3. Nashville Predators (X)
  4. Louis Blues (WC)
  5. Minnesota Wild (WC)
  6. Colorado Avalanche
  7. Winnipeg Jets

 

Pacific

  1. San Jose Sharks (Z)
  2. Anaheim Ducks (X)
  3. LA Kings (X)
  4. Edmonton Oilers
  5. Arizona Coyotes
  6. Calgary Flames
  7. Vancouver Canucks

 

Playoff Picture

Dallas Stars vs. Minnesota Wild (DAL in 7)

San Jose Sharks vs. St. Louis Blues (SJS in 4)

Anaheim Ducks vs. LA Kings (ANH in 6)

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville (CHI in 7)

Dallas Stars vs. Anaheim Ducks (DAL in 7)

Chicago Blackhawks vs. San Jose Sharks (CHI in 7)

Dallas Stars vs. Chicago Blackhawks (CHI in 6)

Stanley Cup

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Champions- TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING in 7

 

Awards Predictions

Hart Trophy (MVP): Joe Pavelski (SJ Sharks)

Maurice Richard Trophy (Leading Goal Scorer): Alex Ovechkin (WSH Capitals)

Art Ross (Most Points): Joe Pavelski (SJ Sharks)

Norris Trophy (Best Defensemen): Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Vezina Trophy (Best Goalie): Carey Price (MTL Canadiens)

Jack Adams (Best Coach): Todd McLellan (EDM Oilers)
Calder Trophy (Best Rookie):
Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Posted in Sports | Leave a comment