Alum of the Week: The Breck School's Blake Wheeler
The Top 10 (Last week's ranking in parenthesis)
1. Duluth East (1)
2. Minnetonka (2)
3. Maple Grove (3)
4. Eagan (4)
5. Moorhead (6)
6. Eden Prairie (8)
7. Edina (5)
8. Hermantown (NR)
9. Wayzata (NR)
10. Burnsville (9)
After the jump, results, college commitments, NHL Central Scouting notes, upcoming games, and Friday's winning lottery numbers.
Edina 3 Burnsville 2, Duluth East 4 Grand Rapids 3, Minnetonka 5 Benilde-St. Margaret's 3- All three of these games matched up the two favorites to be the #1 and 2 seeds in their respective sections, and in each case, the team that was expected to win did, though perhaps in closer fashion than one might have expected.
Hermantown 5 Grand Rapids 2- Hermantown gets the honor of being the first Class A to make my top 10. This win moved the Hawks to a perfect 13-0-0 on the season, and Grand Rapids was probably the toughest game on their schedule. Upcoming games against St. Cloud Cathedral, Bemidji and Cloquet won't be freebies, but it's looking like Hermantown could head to the state tournament with a perfect record.
Benilde-St. Margaret's 15 Spring Lake Park 0- The lopsided score in this one just goes to highlight how incredible it was that Spring Lake Park upset Benilde last year, in what was one of the best hockey games I ever saw.
St. Paul Highland Park 6 Mankato East 5- St. Paul Highland Park had lost 37 straight games until knocking off Mankato East this week.
Two of the state's smoothest scorers made their college decisions this week. Benilde-St. Margaret's junior forward Grant Besse committed to play for Wisconsin. Meanwhile, Duluth Marshall forward Judd Peterson committed to play at St. Cloud State.
He's not technically a HS player or alum, but Shattuck-St. Mary's defenseman Jake Montgomery, originally from Oakdale, Minnesota, committed to play for Nebraska-Omaha
NHL Central Scouting
NHL Central Scouting released their mid-term rankings this week, and the results were not pretty for Minnesota high school hockey. The top-ranked current high school player was Grand Rapids defenseman Jake Bischoff at 132nd among North American skaters. Other high schoolers to make the list were Hibbing's Adam Johnson(139th), Eagan's Will Merchant(155th), Eagan's Eli May(159th), Breck's Grant Opperman(162nd), Hill-Murray's Charlie Sampair(174th), Duluth East's Trevor Olson(178th),Duluth East's Dom Toninato(198th), and Edina's Louie Nanne(199th)
Keep in mind there's 210 players drafted each year, give or take depending on compensatory picks, and that list doesn't include any goalies or Europeans. Without a doubt some Minnesota high schoolers will be taken, but this year, it's looking like it will be very few, very late.
There were also five former high school players to make the list: Brady Skjei(Lakeville North, 18th), AJ Michaelson(Apple Valley, 83rd), Cody Corbett(Stillwater, 92nd), Austyn Young(South St. Paul, 100th), and Logan Nelson(Rogers. 108th)
Games of the Week
St. Cloud Cathedral at Hermantown. Friday January 13th, Hermantown Arena 7:30pm
This game sets up to be a preview of the Section 5A final. Conventional wisdom says that all of Cathedral's young talent is still a year away from competing among the best in the state, but Hermantown could be due for a bit of a letdown after their big win against Grand Rapids on Tuesday.
Shattuck-St. Mary's at St. Trophy Academy, Wednesday January 18th, St. Thomas Arena, 7:30
This is the only game in the state on Wednesday, and with the powerful Shattuck program making the trip up from Faribault., this game is going to be scouted by a ton of junior, college, and pro scouts. Also, there's likely plenty of private school schadenfreude to be had by watching a private school that dominates over most other teams by drawing from a large pool of kids get smacked around by a private school that draws from an even bigger pool of kids.
Edina at Minnetonka, Thursday January 19th, Pagel Activity Center 7:00pm
Minnetonka embarrassed Edina in the semifinals of the Schwan's Cup, and this is Edina's chance for revenge. Minnetonka hasn't played down to a lesser opponent's level all year, which is extremely impressive for a high school squad, while Edina hasn't quite been able to put together great efforts consistently, but these are still two of the top programs in the state, and they should combine for an interesting game.