The Upper Midwest High School Elite League released its rosters for the 2017 season on July 28, and for the second straight year a team from the northern reaches of Minnesota paces the rest of the state.
Duluth East has placed an impressive 11 players on Elite League rosters, with 10 players listed on the Team North roster and one player (sophomore Logan Anderson) on Team CCM.
2016 Class A state champion Hermantown led all schools last season with eight players on Elite League rosters.
Following the Hounds are the Hornets of Edina, which placed 10 players on rosters, with St. Thomas Academy and Minnetonka each coming in at nine players.
Duluth East’s Anderson is one of 17 sophomores, undoubtedly one of the highest underclassmen totals in the history of the league.
Grand Forks Red River (N.D.) freshman Jackson Kunz will skate for Team Great Plains this fall after a wildly productive Bantam season with the Grand Forks Aviators.
Kunz has committed to North Dakota, and is joined by fellow North Dakotans and Red River teammates in seniors Max Johnson and Mason Salquist.
Fargo’s Tyler Kleven is also on the Great Plains roster, and like Kunz has also committed to North Dakota.
Last year’s Class AA champion Grand Rapids is represented by goaltender Gabe Holum, while runner-up Moorhead sends defensemen Ethan Frisch and Parker Larson along with forwards Isaac Henkemeyer-Howe and Cole O’Connell.
The first games of the Elite League will be played the weekend of Sept. 9 at New Hope Ice Arena.