Welcome back to another weekend edition of the Minnesota High School Hockey Highlights. This week we focus on the big performers from the class 2A State Tournament that will be back this year and what we can look forward to from them.
Kicking things off is going to be in my opinion a goalie who has a chance to make big things happen in the Class 2A this year. Gunnar Howg representing the Greyhounds of Duluth East played great throughout the section playoffs last year in the hounds run to state and they will need him to play great again if they have any hopes to dethrone the Edina Hornets. Posting a respectable 92.11 save percentage during the tournament and only 6 goals against, look for Howg to come out strong this year and push to make it another memorable year for the Greyhounds.
Next up we have Garrett Wait from the defending state champion Edina Hornets. While a little overshadowed in the tournament last year by the bigger names of some guys named Nanne and Bellows, he provided an essential element to the team that helped lock down the title. With great passing and speed, expect him to help fill in the gaps left open this year from the parting seniors. This kid could truly end up leading the team to the title again, if he continues to improve his game like we saw at the end of last season.
One of the teams I look to see another great showing from this season is the Lakeville North club. Despite a beating in the state finals to the Edina Hornets, there is a lot of upside to the year’s team. One of those players is Max Johnson. Leading the team in points during last year’s tournament with four, look for him to help the boys from Lakeville North make another run at a state title, maybe even competing with the aforementioned Garrett Wait in the finals.
Last but certainly not least we have Michael Graham from Eden Prarie. While continuing to develop last season he had a respectable tournament as he gathered up three points during the weekend. The UMD Bulldog commit isn’t the fastest or most exciting player to watch, but he provides a consistent work ethic and seems to will plays together at times. While a fourth place finish in the state tournament is a great accomplishment, don’t be surprised if the Eden Prarie Eagles push a little farther into the state tournament and take the next step towards another state title.
Well that’s the top five returning players that I think will have a huge impact on how the Class 2A tournament plays out. Did I miss anyone that you think is going to have a bigger impact returning? Think any of these kids take a step back? Let me know in the comments below.