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2017-18 Minnesota Boys’ High School Class A Team Previews

11/16/2017, 9:32am CST
By Let's Play Hockey

Following are the Minnesota Boys’ High School Hockey Class A Team Previews. The Class AA previews are here.

Let’s Play Hockey would like to thank Tim Kolemainen of Breakdown Sports USA for his assistance in compiling the information for the 2017-18  Boys’ High School Team Previews. The Breakdown Sports Media 2017-18 Season Guidebook is now available for purchase. For more information, go to www.breakdownsportsusa.

Albert Lea Tigers
Last year: 13-13-1
Conference (record): Big 9 (9-9-1)
Section: 1A
State trips: 2004, 05, 07
Home arena: Albert Lea City Arena
Head coach: Jason Fornwald
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: Chad Hacker, Dustin Trail
Steve Charboneau, Matt Erickson
Top returning forwards: Senior Michael Savelkoul (16-25--41), senior Bergen Lundak (19-14--33), junior Cole Wentzel (15-6--21), senior Alex Ulve (7-11--18), senior Alexander Goodmanson (7-6--16)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Noah Karge (6-7--13), senior Logan Stadheim (1-3--4)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Calen Hoelscher (1-2-0, 3.00, .894), junior Jaxon Heilman

Alexandria Cardinals
Last year: 17-8-3
Conference (record): Central Lakes (8-5-1)
Section: 6A
State trips: 1992, 96, 2010, 11
Home arena: Runestone Community Center
Head coach: Ian Resch
Career record (years): 88-76-10 (7)
Assistant coaches: Bruce Hanstad, Jon Cullen, Justin Roob
Letterwinners returning/lost: 12/8
Top returning forwards: Junior Ben Doherty (20-44--64), junior Jack Westlund (24-16--40), senior Derek Dropik (7-15--22)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Jack Powell (4-19--23), sophomore Derek Pesta (3-6--9), junior Evan Lattimer (2-4--6)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Jackson Boline (7-2-1, 2.10, .915), junior Bailey Rosch (5-4-1, 3.07, .898), sophomore Aaron Randazzo (4-2-1, 2.93, .879)
The coach says: “We expect to challenge for a conference and section title. Our goaltending will once again be deep and skilled. Jackson Boline (SR) went 7-2-1 as a starter, and posted a 2.32 GAA and a 0.91 save percentage.  Bailey Rosch (JR) went 5-3-1 as a starter, and posted a 3.25 GAA and a 0.89 save percentage.  We plan on rotating the two, knowing they will both give us a chance to win every night. On defense, senior captain Jack Powell will lead the way.  We look to him to log a lot of minutes and provide leadership to the under classmen. Evan Lattimer, Joe Bigger, Wyatt Blahosky, Michael Peterson, and Paul Schwartz give us depth on the blueline. Up front, top scorers and assistant captains Ben Doherty and Jack Westlund return for their junior seasons. We look to them to lead us offensively. If we can stay healthy, and develop the youth coming into our program,  we feel we can win a section title.”

Austin Packers
Last year: 10-16-0
Conference (record): Big 9 (6-12-0)
Section: 1A
State trips: 1993, 2001
Home arena: Riverside Arena
Head coach: Jason Merritt
Career record (years): 10-16-0 (1)
Assistant coaches: Brad Weichmann, Erik LaRock
Top returning forwards: Senior Dylan Svoboda (9-8--17), junior Hunter Guyette (4-7--11), senior Jake Halsey (3-6--9)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Bryar Flanders (15-7--22), junior AJ Mueller (2-3--5), junior Nate Murphy (0-4--4)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Noah Bawek (6-15-0, 4.28, .869), junior Ryan Flanders (4-1-0, 2.87, .914)

Bagley/Fosston Flyers
Last year: 9-15-1
Conference (record): Northwest (3-7-0)
Section: 8A
State trips: None
Home arena: Albert Kaiser Arena
Head coach:  Alex Jesness
Career record (years): 9-15-1 (1)
Assistant coach: Daniel Peddycoat
Top returning forwards: Senior Dalton Brovold (2-14--16), sophomore Tanner Levin (5-4--9), senior Jarret Merschman (3-3--6)
Top returning defenseman: Junior Griffin Brovold (8-6--14)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Dalen Halvorson

Becker/Big Lake Eagles
Last year: 7-19-0
Conference (record): Two Rivers (4-7-0)
Section: 5A
State trips: None
Home arena: Princeton Ice Arena
Head coach: Doug Friedrichs
Career record (years): 29-72-4 (4)
Assistant coach: Jason Hartfiel
Letterwinners returning/lost: 12/4
Top returning forwards: Senior Weston Schug (30-14--44), senior Aubrey Hartfiel (14-21--35), senior Alec Doran (4-16--20), senior Max Nelson (5-5--10)
Top returning defenseman: Senior Logan Beckstrom (1-5--6)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Zach Piehl
The coach says: “We will be a small team with three newcomers that will help the upperclassmen. We will have a unique group of guys this year with several  seniors who will be great role models for our youth and will work very hard to get their game where it should be. We went 7-18 last year with only one key player graduating  from the team. We have a strong group of four seniors and some underclassmen that are working hard during the off-season who I know will work very hard during the season. Three captains Weston Schug (all-conference and returning point leader), Alec Doran (top defensemen in the conference and fourth in points on last year’s team) and  Aubrey Hartfiel (forward and second in points right behind Weston) will be great role models for the team. The team is returning three of the four point leaders from last year’s team and with the newcomers, it should be an exciting year for the Eagles.”

Bloomington Kennedy Eagles
Last year: 3-21-2
Conference (record): Metro West (0-8-0)
Section: 2A
State trips: 1966, 76, 83, 84, 87 Champs, 90, 91
Home arena: Bloomington Ice Garden
Head coach: Nick Hanrahan
Career record (years): 3-21-2 (1)
Assistant coaches: Brian Hansen, Erik Vetsch, George Walker, Dusty Walker
Top returning forwards: Junior Joseph Dosan (12-7--19), senior Zach Workman (5-11--16), junior Jackson Fuller (2-4--6)
Top returning defensemen: Senior David Beacom (7-14--21), senior Alexander Arnold (1-1--2), senior Grant Mendel (1-1--2)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Noah Hanson

Breck Mustangs
Last year: 26-4-1
Conference (record): Independent Metro (7-0-0)
Section: 2A
State trips: 1994, 96, 97, 2000 Champs, 04 Champs, 09 Champs, 10 Champs, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16
Home arena: Breck School Anderson Ice Arena
Head coach: Glen Lang
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: David Bakken, Michael Mooney, Merrill Harris, Josh DeSmit
Top returning forwards: Senior Will Torgerson (13-12--25), senior Justin Paschke (5-15--20), senior Harrison Klopp (3-7--10), senior Brendan Madson (4-6--10)
Top returning defenseman: Senior Nick Strom (8-16--24)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Linden Olness (17-3-2, 1.72, .902), senior Blaine Madson (5-1-0, 1.61, .894)

Breckenridge/Wahpeton Blades
Last year: 9-12-0
Conference: Independent 
Section: 6A
State trips: None
Home arena: Stern Sports Arena
Head coach: TBD
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: TBD
Top returning forwards: Sophomore Jase Jensen (32-16--48), senior Nolan Wamre (21-15--36), sophomore Isaac Wohlers (4-16--20), sophomore Carson Hought (4-6--10)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Landen Nordick (0-2--2), sophomore James Finkeral (1-0--1)
Top returning goaltenders: Sophomore Hunter Wamre (6-6-0, 3.72, .851), senior Tucker Barth 

Chisago Lakes Area Wildcats
Last year: 13-15-0
Conference (record): Mississippi 8 (4-8-0)
Section: 5A
State trips: 1995, 2014
Home arena: Chisago Lakes Arena
Head coach: Paul Gibson
Career record (years): 73-65-3 (6)
Assistant coaches: Cale Arhart, Tim Zaruba, Todd George
Top returning forwards: Senior Adam Hanson (6-7--13), junior Tate Swanson (5-6--11), senior Devin Wahlberg (5-6--11)
Top returning defensemen: JuniorJustin Lawry (3-11--14), junior Thomas Overgaard (2-12--14)
Top returning goaltenders: Junior Brooks Stangl (5-10-0, 3.62, .861), senior Jesse Carlson (8-5-0, 3.13, .884)

Crookston Pirates
Last year: 11-16-0
Conference (record): Mariucci (1-7-0)
Section: 8A
State trips: None
Home arena: Crookston Civic Center
Head coach: Josh Hardy
Career record (years): 11-16-0 (1)
Assistant coaches: Connor Morgan, Sam Melbye
Letterwinners returning/lost: 12/8
Top returning forwards: Senior Ethan Magsam (10-12--22), sophomore Ben Andringa (8-8--16), sophomore Joey Doda (7-3--10)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Ben Trostad (3-13--16), senior Andrew Dragseth (4-4--8), junior Brock Heppner (4-3--7)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Cade Salentine (8-15-0, 3.80, .859)
The coach says: “We return a very strong core of a team that was right on the edge of advancing to the section final last year. Included in this group is six of our top 10 scorers and our starting goaltender. While we may not have the depth of last year, our talent and maturity will be improved. Three freshmen played significant minutes last year on varsity and will be more comfortable as sophomores. Our strength will be in our ability to create offense, and play with pace. This may be the fastest team we’ve fielded in years. Key to our success will be trusting the process of getting better every day and preparing to win in February. Our expectation as always is to improve every day and be the best team we can be in February. If we can do that, the results will take care of themselves.”

Delano Tigers
Last year: 26-4-1
Conference (record): Wright County (12-2-0)
Section: 2A
State trips: 2017
Home arena: Delano Area Sports Arena
Head coach: Gerrit van Bergen
Career record (years): 69-17-1 (3)
Assistant coaches: Chad Wagner, Kevin Johnson, Robbie Stocker, Ron Guild
Letterwinners returning/lost: 8/12
Top returning forwards: Senior Justin Daly (8-9--17), senior Matt Carson (1-1--2)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Tanner Glasrud (3-19--22), senior Mitchell Durst (1-2--3), senior Tucker Hart (0-1--1)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Jackson Hjelle (19-3-1, 2.17, .919)
The coach says: “We will be battling to defend our section title with many players competing for and playing in new roles this season. The leadership and experience of our captains (Justin Daly, Tanner Glasrud and Jackson Hjelle) will be vital to the progression of players moving up from junior varsity and bantams. In addition to our captains, we have a group of seniors who have patiently developed and waited to make their mark on the program (Jack Paulson, Mitch Durst, Cole Virnig, Matt Carson). As the team gains experience and grows together over the coming months, we know we will be a strong and disciplined team by season’s end.”

Detroit Lakes Lakers
Last year: 13-10-2
Conference (record): Mid-State (6-2-0)
Section: 8A
State trips: 1995, 96
Home arena: Freeman Sports Arena
Head coach: Todd Dwyer
Assistant coaches: Gabe Stoltman, Mathew Brown
Letterwinners returning/lost: 13/4
Top returning forwards: Junior Trey Seebold (11-12--23), senior Ryan Paskey (8-12--20), senior Collin Ginnaty (10-8--18), senior Ben Unruh (7-9--16)
Top returning defensemen:  Senior Adam Gotchie (1-13--14), senior Jace Kovash (1-9--10)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Ben Boomgaarden (13-8--2, 2.64, .898)
The coach says: “This year our strength will be our depth. We have many players that got lots of experience as a sophomore. Our keys to success this year will be to stay healthy and get scoring from  our entire lineup.”

Duluth Denfeld Hunters
Last year: 5-22-0
Conference (record): Lake Superior (2-3-0)
Section: 7A
State trips: 1954, 96 (as Central), 1986, 88, 89 (as Denfeld)
Home arena: Duluth Heritage Sports Center
Head coach: Dale Jago
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: Adam Shykes, Bryan Lent, J. Dieryck, Ron Tomassoni
Top returning forwards: Senior Brady Bastyr (9-11--20), senior Luke Eilefson (10-8--18), senior Jacob Marciniak (6-4--10), junior Payton Budisolovich (5-5--10), junior Jake Eskola (5-5--10)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Darren Shykes (1-1--2), senior Izaak Smith (0-1--1)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Benjamin LaFont (5-16-0, 4.65, .870)

East Grand Forks Green Wave
Last year: 18-10-2
Conference (record): Mariucci (7-3-1)
Section: 8A
State trips: 1971, 80, 82, 98, 99, 2001, 02, 13, 14 Champs, 15 Champs, 17
Home arena: East Grand Forks Civic Center
Head coach: Scott Koberinski
Career record (years): 33-21-4 (2)
Assistant coaches: Phil Hartwig, Randy Galstad, Scott Oliver
Top returning forwards: Senior Coby Stauss (18-11--29), junior Carter Beck (6-8--14), junior Tanner Mack (4-5--9)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Casey Kallock (6-21--27), junior Luke Vonesh (5-9--14), senior Dylan Selk (1-8--9)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Tucker Brown (17-10-2, 2.46, .883)

Ely Timberwolves
Last year: 13-11-0
Conference: Independent
Section: 7A
State trips: None
Home arena: Ely Ice Arena
Head coach: Ben Johnson
Career record (years): 20-27-1 (2)
Assistant coaches: Jake Myers, Stan Skelton, Colin Moberly, Tom Jerome, Louie Gerzin
Top returning forwards: Junior Nick Mattila (29-8--37), senior Gage Merhar (10-4--14), sophomore Luke Olson (3-9--12), senior Thomas Montana (5-6--11)
Top returning defensemen: Freshman Joe Pierce (14-20--34), senior Trea Schreffler (1-5--6)

Eveleth-Gilbert Golden Bears
Last year: 15-11-0
Conference (record): Iron Range (2-5-0)
Section: 7A
State trips: 1945 Champs, 46, 47, 48 Champs, 49 Champs, 50 Champs, 51 Champs, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 60, 1993 Champs, 98 Champs
Home arena: The Hippodrome
Head coach: Jeff Torrel
Career record (years): 64-84-6 (7)
 Assistant coaches: Jared Anderson, Mark Karpen, Paul Coombe, Steve Troutwine
Letterwinners returning/lost: 9/8
Top returning forwards: Senior Cody Hendrickson (31-35--66), junior Gavin Maki (9-7--16), junior Josh James (9-3--12), junior Bryce Kopp (0-6--6)
Top returning defenseman: Sophomore Gage Everson (4-5--9)
Top returning goaltenders: Junior Kodi Intihar (2-0-0, 3.00, .842), junior Baylee Grahek
The coach says: “The Golden Bears will be a young squad this year. We return our leading scorer, Cody Hendrickson, along with a line of juniors Gavin Maki, Josh James and Bryce Kopp. We will have fire power up front. The keys to our season will be defense and goaltending. Juniors Kodi Intihar and Baylee Grahek will battle for the top goaltending spot. Our defensive core will be young but solid.”

Fairmont Cardinals
Last year: 5-19-0
Conference (record): Big South (3-13-0)
Section: 3A
State trips: None
Home arena: Martin County Arena
Head coach: Kris Olson
Career record (years): 9-30-1 (2)
Assistant coaches: Jayden Huset, Roger Claeys
Top returning forwards: Senior Tom Havnen (10-8--18), senior Sam Mensing (5-3--8), junior Tanner DeWar (2-4--6)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Karson Legred (3-1--4), junior Carter Olson (0-1--1), senior Matt Kotewa (0-1--1)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Colby Kuhl, sophomore Tyson Geerdes

Faribault Falcons
Last year: 4-21-0
Conference (record): Big 9 (3-14-0)
Section: 1A
State trips: 1993
Home arena: Faribault Ice Arena
Head coach: Dean Weasler
Career record (years): 52-74-4 (6)
Assistant coaches: Dan Pumper, Nate Nawrocki, Pat Nesbuurg
Top returning forwards: Senior Cade Kletschka (10-7--17), sophomore Braden Schroeder (3-0--3), sophomore Leighton Weasler (0-3--3)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Brett Vogelsberg (2-7--9), junior Logan Sanborn (1-3--4), junior Daniel Drevlow (1-2--3)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Adam Vos (4-16-0, 4.93, .890), junior Landon Hullett

Fergus Falls Otters
Last year: 16-10-1
Conference (record): Central Lakes (7-5-0)
Section: 6A
State trips: 1997, 98, 99, 2000, 01, 02, 03
Home arena: Fergus Falls Arena
Head coach: Mike Donaghue
Career record (years): 165-151-22 (13)
Assistant coaches: Ethan Townsend, Jared Larson, Mike Alt
Top returning forwards: Senior Nate Longtin (15-18--33), senior Logan Wentworth (12-13--25), Declan Young (4-4--8)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Brad Moxness (3-5--8), Mason Hoffman (1-7--8)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Drew Luhning (16-9-1, 2.59, .900)

Greenway Raiders
Last year: 18-8-1
Conference (record): Iron Range (6-3-0)
Section: 7A
State trips: 1962, 66, 67 Champs, 68 Champs, 69, 70, 87, 92 Champs, 2001
Home arena: Hodgins-Berardo Arena
Head coach: Grant Clafton
Assistant coaches: Adam Johnson, Mike Pechovnik, Reid Holum
Top returning forwards: Junior Casadonte Lawson (21-16--37), junior Nikilai Rajala (11-11--22), senior Wesley Johnson (6-8--14), senior Aksel Jenson (4-5--9)

Henry Sibley Warriors
Last year: 5-21-0
Conference (record): Metro East (2-10-0)
Section: 4A
State trips: 1973, 74, 75, 76, 82, 83, 93, 97
Home arena: West St. Paul Arena
Head coach: Corey Hessler
Assistant coaches: Chad Eibon, Jason Platz, Luke Trickle
Letterwinners returning/lost: 14/5
Top returning forwards: Junior Johnny McGuire (7-7--14), junior Joe Juliette (1-6--7), junior Nick Linarte (1-4--5)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Alex Lucken (1-11--12), senior Riley Altier (4-3--7), senior Tommy Harrity (1-5--6), junior Logan Woods (1-5--6)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Brian Kolstad (2-0-0, 2.21, .919)
The coach says: “We are expecting to be competitive in the Metro East Conference and Section 4A this year. We are hoping to take a step forward in both conference and section play. We need some guys to step up offensively and we feel like we have some guys that have the ability to do that. The strength of our team should be our defensemen. We return our top six defensemen from a year ago including Metro East All Conference honoree Alex Lucken. They will need to contribute more offensively for us as well to be successful on a nightly basis. They will also need to protect our goaltenders that don’t have a ton of experience at the varsity level.” 

Hermantown Hawks
Last year: 29-1-1
Conference (record): Lake Superior (5-0-0)
Section: 7A
State trips: 1994, 98, 99, 2001, 06, 07 Champs, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 Champs, 17 Champs
Home arena: Hermantown Arena
Head coach: Patrick Andrews
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: Daryl Illikainen, Nate Buck, Matt Swanson
Letterwinners returning/lost: 11/9
Top returning forwards: Senior Tyler Watkins (22-28--50), senior Jacob Herter (6-12--18), junior Brady Baker (7-4--11)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Darian Gotz (3-17--20), junior Elliott Peterson (3-15--18), junior Sam High (3-7--10)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Austin Hess
The coach says: “After winning Back to Back State Championships, the goal is to three-peat. The key to Hermantown Hockey’s success over the past decade has been a commitment to hard work, a Blue Collar mentality that the boys bring to the rink every day. That will not change, with new coaches and a new season.  The road to a third straight title will not be easy as every team brings their best game and Section 7 is getting stronger with good young talent at Greenway and Hibbing.  The key to us winning a third straight title will be returning forwards such as senior Captains Tyler Watkins and Jake Herte as well as junior Brady Baker stepping up and putting goals in the net. Hermantown hockey has prided itself on great team D and that will not change this season.  In fact, team D will have to be a hallmark if our expectations are to be reached as we will have untested goaltending for the first time in four years.  Protecting the net will have to be the strength of the team and Senior Captain Trent Madill and standout juniors Darian Gotz, Elliot Peterson, and Sam High will be called upon to carry the lion share of the ice time on the blue line.”

Hibbing/Chisholm Bluejackets
Last year: 18-9-0
Conference (record): Iron Range (7-2-0)
Section: 7A
State trips: 1952 Champs, 67, 70, 73 Champs, 74, 82, 84, 85, 86, 94, 2003, 04, 11
Home arena: Hibbing Memorial Building
Head coach: Justin Tomberlin
Career record (years): 18-9-0 (1)
Assistant coaches: Aaron Jamnick, Travis Weber, Chris Zubich, Kevin Danielson
Top returning forwards: Senior Jarrett Lee (23-28--51), junior Tristan Birdsall (12-11--23), senior Jake Riihinen (7-2--9)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Alex Seppala (0-6--6), senior Michael Kubena (1-5--6)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Christian Renskers (5-1-0, 1.27, .933)

Hutchinson Tigers
Last year: 7-17-3
Conference (record): Wright County (1-11-1)
Section: 3A
State trips: 1995, 97, 2000, 09
Home arena: Burich Arena
Head coach: Matt Telecky
Career record (years): 135-194-11 (14)
Assistant coaches: Marc Telecky, Nick Nelson, Matt Penner
Letterwinners returning/lost: 12/10
Top returning forwards: Junior Lane Glaser (12-13--25), senior Cale Bordson (3-4--7), junior Jacob Caspers (3-3--6)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Cass Longie (5-2--7), senior Daniel Lyons (1-0--1)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Brooks Telecky (7-17-3, 3.73, .895)
The coach says: “Staying healthy will be important. We are returning a good strong D core and a goaltender that has started the past three seasons. The early part of the season will be a work in progress to develop some scoring depth. Every year, we want to get better every day and be playing our best hockey at the end of the season.”

International Falls Broncos
Last year: 10-16-0
Conference (record): Iron Range (2-6-0)
Section: 7A
State trips: 1950, 56, 57 Champs, 58, 59, 62 Champs, 63, 64 Champs, 65 Champs, 66 Champs, 68, 71, 72 Champs, 73, 83, 89, 95 Champs, 2000, 02
Home arena: Bronco Arena
Head coach: George McDonald
Assistant coaches: Darren Olson
Top returning forwards: Junior Simon Palm (4-11--15), senior Trimble Butler (5-9--14), senior Gust Lorenson (6-5--11), senior Kane Kostiuk (4-6--10)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Trevor Becvar (0-13--13), senior Ethan Alleman (1-5--6)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Jake Klow (10-15-0, 3.51, .871)
Kittson Cty. Central Bearcats
Last year: 1-20-2
Conference (record): Northwest (0-4-1)
Section: 8A
State trips: None
Home arena: Hallock Ice Arena
Head coach: Robert Carr
Career record (years): 63-81-5 (6)
Assistant coaches: Mike Sugden, Rod Hennen
Top returning forwards: Senior Bradley Stewart (8-6--14), senior Alex Donaldson (8-6--14), junior Trent Peterson (3-7--10)
Top returning defensemen: Freshman Hayden Hennen (3-6--9), senior Nick Misson (1-6--7)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Ben Sugden

La Crescent Lancers
Last year: 15-10-1
Conference: Independent
Section: 1A
State trips: None
Home arena: La Crescent Community Arena
Head coach: Adam Kimball
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: Pat Hogan, Ben Tornow
Top returning forwards: Junior Alex Boudreau (14-13--27), senior Mason Holzer (4-4--8), senior Jake Hallback-Kettner (4-1--5)
Top returning defenseman: Junior Jacob Hogan (1-4--5)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Gavin Christianson (11-3-1, 2.82, .897)

Lake of the Woods Bears
Last year: 14-19-1
Conference (record): Northwest (5-0-0)
Section: 8A
State trips: 1949, 50, 51 (as Williams), 1993
Home arena: Baudette Arena
Head coach: Don Krause
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coach: Darren Olson
Letterwinners returning/lost: 14/4
Top returning forwards: Senior Luke Krause (12-15--27), junior Reece Chorney (8-6--14), senior Gabe Johnson (4-6--10), junior Kade Chapman (3-6--9)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Nathan Poolman (22-15--37), senior Jarred Sipe (5-11--16), senior Josh Pieper (1-4--5)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Lemuel Carradice (15-7-0, 1.92, .906)
The coach says: “Lake of the Woods will return a solid core of players at key positions. We will return top scorer Nathan Poolman and solid defenseman Jarred Sipe on the blueline and Lemuel Carradice in the net. Luke Krause is another key player returning from last year’s team and will anchor the forwards. We have always been a hard-working team so I expect that tradition to continue. We will gain 12 players from last year’s Bantam team and will need some younger guys to step into and play some important roles for next year. ”

Legacy Christian Academy Lions
Last year: 1-24-1
Conference (record): Two Rivers (1-8-1)
Section: 5A
State trips: None
Home arena: Schwan Super Rink
Head coach: Dan Olufson
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: Joe Olufson, Josh Anderson, Tom Zych
Letterwinners returning/lost: 13/5
Top returning forwards: Senior Ben Spande (8-2--10), senior Jarvey Hill (5-3--8), senior Noah Hansen (3-2--5)
Top returning defenseman: Senior Zack Anderson (0-3--3)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Noah Myrum
The coach says: “Legacy Lion boys hockey celebrated its 10th season during 2016-17! This year’s team is looking to build on this program’s tradition while striving to bring it  to new heights as well. The 2017-18 season will prove to be a rebuilding year for the Lions – a season that will test the character of the players and coaches. We believe this team is up for that challenge. The Lions will look to their sound goaltending core and solid returning defensive line-up to lead them into this season. The coaching staff sees this winter as an opportunity for each player to show what they can do and what they can bring to the team.”

Litchfield/Dassel-Cokato Dragons
Last year: 14-11-1
Conference (record): Wright County (5-6-1)
Section: 3A
State trips: 1996, 2008, 16
Home arena: Litchfield Civic Arena
Head coach: Chris Olson
Career record (years): 156-211-14 (14)
Assistant coaches: Chuck Wedin, Ty Olson, Craig McKechney, Duane Lundin, Bill Huhner
Letterwinners returning/lost: 12/8
Top returning forwards: Junior Brandt Pedersen (19-17--36), junior Paul Raisanen (3-10--13), senior Ben Lindquist (2-4--6), junior Dylan Schutz (3-3--6)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Orrin Grangroth (9-16--25), senior Filip Haataja (2-7--9), junior Caleb Keith (1-5--6)
The coach says: “I think we return some pretty skilled players.  We will have a nice core of forwards and our top three defensemen back. We will have some pretty good team speed and the ability to move the puck. We always have guys willing to work hard and pressure teams.”

Little Falls Flyers
Last year: 15-10-1
Conference: Independent
Section: 6A
State trips: 2005, 06, 07, 08, 09, 12
Home arena: Exchange Arena
Head coach: Tony Couture
Career record (years): 368-267-13 (23)
Assistant coaches: Andrew Schouveller, Austin Fenske, 
Bob Stark, Wesley Waytashek, Jared Festler, Chris Dobis
Letterwinners returning/lost: 13/6
Top returning forwards: Senior Ben Sowada (16-11--27), senior Mario Filippi (12-10--22), senior Jake Kapphahn (5-8--13), senior Andrew Marod (2-8--10)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Landon Johnson (3-32--35), junior Josh Jennings (3-12--15)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Justin Pekula (15-10-1, 2.81, .890)
The coach says: “The Flyers return 13 players and two-year starting goalie in Justin Pekula.  We look to build on last year’s 15-win season. If the Flyers hope to be a upset team in Section 6A, they will need to learn to score goals and be better on the power play. The Flyers have potential, but need to go toe to toe with the big boys.”

Luverne Cardinals
Last year: 22-7-1
Conference (record): Big South (14-2-0)
Section: 3A
State trips: 2014, 17
Home arena: Blue Mound Ice Arena
Head coach: Phil Paquette
Career record (years): 22-7-1 (1)
Assistant coaches: Adam Ossefoort, Paul Erickson
Letterwinners returning/lost: 20/5
Top returning forwards: Senior Kasyn Kruse (34-27--61), senior Nick Harder (22-19--41), junior Ben Serie (18-22--40), senior Declan Beers (13-17--30)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Tyler Reisdorfer (13-10--23), senior Jim Erickson (2-11--13), senior Trey Roberts (4-6--10)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Daniel Tofteland (7-2-0, 1.76, .906)
The coach says: “This season the Luverne Cardinals will have a large senior class and really the core of last year’s state tournament team returning. The keys to our success for this season will be maintaining our discipline and work ethic from last year to build on the successful season we had. Not allowing our team to feel entitled to that success but knowing that we have to earn it. We will be looking for strong leadership out of our large senior class. All in all this team should be strong in all aspects of the game. We are looking forward to another exciting season of Cardinal hockey!” 

Mahtomedi Zephyrs
Last year: 17-13-0
Conference (record): Metro East (6-5-0)
Section: 4A
State trips: 1992, 94, 97, 98, 2001, 09, 10, 15, 17
Home arena: St. Croix Recreation Center
Head coach: Jeff Poeschl
Career record (years): 380-241-10 (24)
Assistant coaches: Jeff Mars, Russ Becker, Matt Miskovich, Tom Strelow
Letterwinners returning/lost: 16/4
Top returning forwards: Senior Charlie Bartholomew (7-15--22), sophomore Colin Hagstrom (7-11--18), junior Dylan Lallier (6-11--17), sophomore Nikolai Dulak (4-9--13), junior Joe Paradise (5-7--12)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Sam Ayd (5-7--12), junior Noah Skillings (0-10--10)
Top returning goaltenders: Junior Bailey Huber (12-5-1, 2.15, .914), senior Josh Campbell
The coach says: “Chemistry, depth at all positions and work ethic are among the strengths of this year’s team. The Zephyrs could find themselves in a position to challenge for their first Metro East conference title, which should also prepare them for a deep run into the playoffs and state tournament.”

Mankato East/Loyola Cougars
Last year: 16-10-1
Conference (record): Big 9 (9-4-1)
Section: 1A
State trips: 2006
Home arena: All Seasons Arena
Head coach: Adam Fries
Career record (years): 53-50-2 (5)
Assistant coaches: Jack Diercks, Zach Duberry, Tanner Grina, Jeff Humble
Letterwinners returning/lost: 7/5
Top returning forwards: Junior Sam Schulz (11-19--30), senior Garret Rabenhorst (5-16--21), junior Adam Megard (5-12--17)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Jake Anderson (11-28--39), junior Parker Steindl (2-9--11)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Jack Cusey (14-9-4, 2.68, .904)
The coach says: “The Cougars are looking for a strong year. We have a strong core of returning players coming back, and a strong core of young kids as well. This will make for a nice dynamic balance for the Cougars this season. The keys for this year will be getting our young players situated and comfortable as quick as possible, and looking forward to great leadership from our seniors as well. This team could have some nice success if we gel together and become a team quickly. We have good skilled players, depth in all positions and a fourth year starter in goal. Our schedule has strengthened considerably this year so that is going to help us in the long run! We are looking foward to a great season.”

Mankato West Scarlets
Last year: 12-12-1
Conference (record): Big 9 (9-5-1)
Section: 1A
State trips: 2008, 16
Home arena: All Seasons Arena
Head coach: Curtis Doell
Career record (years): 132-76-9 (8)
Assistant coaches: Danny Heath, Jason Anderson, Nate Olsen
Top returning forwards: Senior Cole Fossen (5-11--16), junior Jarden Hatkin (7-6--13), senior Kam Krueger (3-7--10)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Ethan Swenson (3-13--16), junior Nathan Phinney (2-5--7), senior John Miller (2-1--3)
Top returning goaltenders: Junior Lucas Baker, junior Garret Wenninger

Marshall Tigers
Last year: 19-7-1
Conference (record): Big South (12-3-1)
Section: 3A
State trips: 2013
Home arena: Lyon County Ice Arena
Head coach: Michael Weiss
Career record (years): 61-40-3 (4)
Assistant coaches: Aaron Schroeder, Jim Haynes, Scott Mellenthin
Letterwinners returning/lost: 8/12
Top returning forwards: Junior Mason Plante (26-33--59), senior Chase VanDeVere (10-9--19)
Top returning defensemen: Sophomore Kaleb Welvaert (6-18--24), senior Garret Hoff (2-3--5)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Ryley Serreyn
The coach says: “Coming off a 19-7-1 season, we will look to continue building off of our previous successes. We return many skilled players from last season. Our goal going into the season is a conference championship and a trip to the state tournament. Our strength this season should be our play in the offensive zone. We return a lot of key pieces including Chase VanDeVere, Mason Plante, Garret Hoff and Kaleb Welvaert. The key to us being successful this season will be playing great in the defensive zone and transitioning to offense.”

Last year: 13-14-0
Conference: Independent
Section: 2A
State trips: 1994 (as Edison), 1959, 60, 64 (as Henry), 56, 58, 61, 63, 66, 67, 74, 78, 92 (as Roosevelt), 50, 54, 55, 57, 93 (as South), 51, 52, 53, 55, 65, 68, 69, 70 Champs, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76 ,77, 80 (as Southwest), 48, 46, 59, 60, 62, 79 (as Washburn), 46, 47 (as West)
Head coach: Joe Dziedzic
Assistant coaches: Drew Palmer, Garrett Chumley, John Bergford, Bob Lundeen, Andy Wong
Top returning forwards: Senior Huck Sorock (18-16--34), senior Jake Erickson (11-6--17), senior Sebastian Gholl (5-3--8)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Gavin Miller (2-5--7), senior Campbell Goff (1-1--2), junior Cameron Sullivan (0-2--2), senior Will Stevens (0-2--2)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Tommy Walsh

Minnesota River Bulldogs
Last year: 13-13-1
Conference (record): Big South (9-7-0)
Section: 1A
State trips: None
Home arena: LeSueur Community Center
Head coach: Shea Roehrkasse
Career record (years): 17-11-0 (1)
Assistant coaches: Danny Endres, Shawn Weick
Top returning forwards: Junior Hunter Wilmes (17-14--31), junior Tyson Sowder (9-12--21), senior Matt Plieseis (8-8--16), junior Lane Schwarz (5-6--11)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Danny McCabe (4-11--15), junior Ken Ringler (4-8--12)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Andrew Regner (12-13-1, 3.07, .901)
The coach says: “We are very excited about this upcoming season. We had a lot of sophomores step up for us last year, and we are confident that their early experience will translate into great careers for us.  In order for us to be successful, we will really need to focus on tightening up our D-zone. They boys are working very hard in the off- season and I know we are very excited to get things going!”

Monticello Moose
Last year: 23-7-1
Conference (record): Mississippi 8 (8-3-1)
Section: 5A
State trips: 2017
Home arena: Moose Sherritt Ice Arena
Head coach: Eric Nelson
Career record (years): 35-22-2 (2)
Assistant coaches: Dan Miller, Marc Marcotte, Nate Sunderman
Letterwinners returning/lost: 8/11
Top returning forwards: Junior Troy Dahlheimer (17-28--45), senior Devon Lyons (3-7--10)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Tyler Anderson (4-5--9), senior Keith Holme (1-9--10), senior Jack Saunders (1-6--7)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Tyler Klatt (20-7-1, 2.42, .895), sophomore Collin Soderholm (3-0-0, 1.66, .903)
The coach says: “My expectations will be the same entering this year as they were entering last year. I expect the kids to compete day in and day out to make sure we are getting better every day. Our success will rely on our ability to focus on doing things the right way and not get caught up in trying to match the success of the prior year. If the kids can buy in and do things the right way, the outcomes will take care of itself. The veterans will be relied upon to lead a younger team to achieve their goals throughout the season.” 

Moose Lake Area Rebels
Last year: 4-23-0
Conference (record): Two Rivers (2-10-0)
Section: 5A
State trips: None
Home arena: Riverside Arena
Head coach: Lee Costley
Career record (years): 4-23-0 (1)
Assistant coach: Brad Hubred
Top returning forwards: Senior Mike Knezevich (17-9--26), senior Mark Fossum (8-8--16), sophomore Jordan Fjosne (5-11--16), junior Vern Anderson III (2-8--10)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Michael Lilya (3-6--9), junior Anakin Oswald (2-3--5)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Danny Whited

Mora-Milaca Mustangs
Last year: 11-12-2
Conference (record): Two Rivers (6--1)
Section: 5A
State trips: 1996, 97
Home arena: Mora Civic Center
Head coach: Kevin Nolt
Career record (years): 11-12-2 (1)
Assistant coach: Brett Baldwin
Letterwinners returning/lost: 12/7
Top returning forwards: Junior Gavin Orr (23-26--46), senior Mathew Peters (4-6--10), senior Logan Parker-Sjoberg (7-3--10), junior Tyson Peterson (3-7--10)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Logan Graves (5-16--21), junior Blake Radeke (13-6--19), senior Noah Foster (5-3--8)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Nick Madison (1-1-0, 3.00, .917)
The coach says: “We had a young team this year, but they are a very coachable team. Keys for this season to be successful are to play disciplined in the defensive zone. We have a couple of players who have a goal-scoring ability. Being opportunistic is going to be critical for this year’s team.”

Morris/Benson Area Storm
Last year: 1-20-0
Conference: Independent
Section: 6A
State trips: None
Home arena: Lee Community Center, Benson Civic Center
Head coach: Jeremiah Day
Career record (years): 22-79-1 (4)
Assistant coach: Tony Schultz
Top returning forward: Junior Kolby Goff (3-5--8)
Top returning defenseman: Senior Hunter Gades (4-3--7)

Mound Westonka/Watertown-Mayer White Hawks
Last year: 10-15-1
Conference (record): Wright County (6-7-0)
Section: 2A
State trips: 1998, 2001
Home arena: Thaler Sports Center
Head coach: Jake Hindermann
Career record (years): 10-15-1 (1)
Assistant coaches: Austin Hill, Dave Montgomery, Pat Furlong
Top returning forwards: Senior Torsten Lee (16-12--28), senior Brady Aufderheide (5-6--11), senior Philipp Weltin (6-3--9)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Hank Nagel (1-5--6), senior Andrew Fish 
Top returning goaltender: Junior Noah Coley (6-12-1, 4.07, .846)

New Ulm Eagles
Last year: 14-11-1
Conference (record): Big South (10-6-0)
Section: 3A
State trips: 1992, 2010, 11, 12, 15
Home arena: New Ulm Civic Center
Head coach: Ryan Neuman
Career record (years): 27-23-3 (2)
Assistant coaches: Trevor Woyckte, Wade French, Zach Fischer
Letterwinners returning/lost: 10/10
Top returning forwards: Sophomore Glavine Schugel (13-10--23), junior Landon Strong (11-8--19), senior Kyle Tauer (5-8--13), senior Sam Berg (6-5--11)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Nick Banal (4-8--12), senior Luke Scheid (2-8--10), senior Max Heidersheidt (1-6--7)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Jack Raymond (14-11-1, 2.26, .919)
The coach says: “ Returning  for the Eagles will be junior netminder Jack Raymond who played all but one period as a sophomore. Jack had five shutouts. Also coming back will be four defensemen that played a decent amount of minutes. Upfront, the Eagles will look to a good group of young forwards that have a good combination of size and speed. The Eagles will look to these young forwards to use the experience they gained last season to become leaders and put the puck in the net.”

North Branch Vikings
Last year: 17-9-1
Conference (record): Mississippi 8 (4-7-0)
Section: 5A
State trips: None
Home arena: Chisago Lakes Ice Arena
Head coach: Matt Cottingham
Assistant coaches: Aaron Bistram, Toby Palewicz, Zach Fairbanks
Top returning forwards: Junior Brady Meyer (33-25--58), senior Cody Moline (26-26--52), junior Jacob Richards (12-13--25), senior Nick Jensen (4-6--10)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Tim Moll (4-2--6), junior Justin Sachs (1-2--3)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Trevor Mellen (16-8-1, 2.32, .912), sophomore Jake Turek (1-1-0, 2.74., 854)

North Shore Storm
Last year: 14-10-2
Conference: Independent
Section: 7A
State trips: 1999 (as Silver Bay)
Home arena: Rukavina Arena, Lake County Arena
Head coach: Mike Guzzo
Career record (years): 46-30-2 (3)
Assistant coaches: Dan Thewis, Gary Gustafson, Tyler Carlson
Letterwinners returning/lost: 14/7
Top returning forwards: Senior Chad Nordean (20-25--45), senior Nick Hendrickson (9-7--16), junior Mason Meyer (7-8--15)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Logan Loiselle (4-10--14), senior Giovanni Marolt (1-5--6), senior Brock Fjeran (0-2--2)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Cameron Roy (7-3-2, 3.00, .856)
The coach says: “North Shore Storm will continue to be a competitive team in 2017-18. We expect to have 45 players try out for the team. We should have depth at all positions. Goaltending should continue to improve as we will have three experienced goalies. Defensively, we have four defensemen returning with experience and four more defensemen that will challenge for playing time. Our top goal-scorer returns and seven forwards that played a regular shift return. It is time for North Shore to make some noise in Section 7A.”

Northern Lakes Lightning
Last year: 21-5-1
Conference (record): Mid-State (7-1-0)
Section: 5A
State trips: None
Home arena: Breezy Point Ice Arena, Hallett Community Center
Head coach: Craig Larson
Career record (years): 112-166-12 (12)
Assistant coach: Tony Maucieri
Letterwinners returning/lost: 13/6
Top returning forwards: Senior Garrett Westlund (11-11--22), sophomore Shane Donavon (10-8--18), senior Drew Elfering (8-7--15)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Maverick Engstrom (8-18--26), senior Brendan Knox (1-10--11)
The coach says: “This year will be a rebuilding year and one that puts us in a new section.  We will have two new goalies and we’ll have to be more of a defensive team than we were last year.”

Northfield Raiders
Last year: 21-7-3
Conference (record): Big 9 (16-2-1)
Section: 1A
State trips: 2017
Home arena: Northfield Ice Arena
Head coach: Mike Luckraft
Career record (years): 58-22-5 (3)
Assistant coaches: Charlie Cloud, Mick Scofield, Scott Cloud
Letterwinners returning/lost: 12/10
Top returning forwards: Senior Jacob Halvorson (27-20--47), junior Devon Jirik (10-13--23), senior Tyler Blaha (5-6--11), junior Zachary Marvin (2-7--9)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Jack Fox (2-17--19), senior Jimmy Fischer (1-7--8), senior Geoff Runningen (1-6--7)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Will Fink (1-0-0, 0.
00, 1.000)
The coach says: “We return some nice scoring and a solid core of defensemen from last year’s team. Our strengths will be team speed and some depth across the lineup. Keys will be the addition of newcomers and blending them into the lineup and new goaltending.”

Orono Spartans
Last year: 16-10-0
Conference (record): Wright County (10-3-0)
Section: 2A
State trips: 1992, 93, 2002, 03, 04, 06, 07, 14
Home arena: Orono Ice Arena
Head coach: Mark Parrish
Career record: 51-30-2
Assistant coaches: Justin Pagel, Matt Cooke, Will Scholz
Top returning forwards: Senior Jack Suchy (19-21--40), senior Davey Burns (20-15--35), senior Thomas Walker (8-19--27), junior Landon Wittenberg (4-7--11), senior Dane Korsi (9-2--11)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Daniel Eckerline (3-6--9), junior Jack Kubitz (0-2--2), senior Nick Gheradi (0-2--2)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Evan Babekuhl (9-4-0, 1.93, .908)

Park Rapids Area Panthers
Last year: 6-18-2
Conference (record): Mid-State (1-6-1)
Section: 8A
State trips: None
Home arena: Park Rapids Community Center
Head coach: Derek Ricke
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: Greg Chromy, Tyler Lehrke
Top returning forwards: Junior Bjorn Jorgenson (9-11--20), senior Shea Alto (7-3--10), junior Carter Ophiem (3-2--5)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Brett Pinoniemi (0-6--6), senior Connor Link (2-1--3), junior Jimmy Hillukka (0-3--3)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Austin Jerger (6-17-2, 3.83, .886)

Pine City Area Dragons
Last year: 18-8-0
Conference (record): Two Rivers (10-1-0)
Section: 5A
State trips: None
Home arena: Pine City Civic Center
Head coach: Grant Nicoll
Career record (years): 123-83-4 (9)
Assistant coaches: Brett Westbrook, Josh Louden, Geoff Jordan, Keith Johnson
Letterwinners returning/lost: 15/4
Top returning forwards: Senior Jonah Bergstrom (28-39--67), senior TJ Roth (12-7--19), junior Kyle Wiener (7-5--12), senior Ethan White (8-2--10)
Top returning defensemen: Sophomore Dusty Bergstrom (7-23--30), junior Logan Johnson (1-9--10),  sophomore Gabe Westbrook (1-4--5)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Luke Murphy (17-8-0, 2.22, .922)
The coach says: “We will be a very balanced team with a lot of depth. We return five of our six starting D-men from last year, as well as some of our top scorers.”    

Prairie Centre Area North Stars
Last year: 10-16-1
Conference (record): Mid-State (2-5-1)
Section: 6A    
State trips: None
Home arena: Sauk Centre Civic Arena, Long Prairie Expo Arena
Head coache: Chad Wehrman
Career record (years): 10-16-1 (1)
Assistant coaches: Colby Deters, Mike Gumiela
Letterwinners returning/lost: 14/4
Top returning forwards: Junior Hunter Fletcher (13-7-20), junior Brady Miller (7-7--14), senior Isaac Cebulla (3-9--12), senior Seth Deters (11-1--12)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Hudson Pung (1-11--12), senior Will Koetters (2-3--5)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Jesson Gould (7-12-1, 5.07, .860), sophomore Isaiah DeFoe
The coach says: “The North Stars will look to compete hard every night.”

Princeton Tigers
Last year: 9-16-2
Conference (record): Mississippi 8 (2-9-1)
Section: 5A
State trips: 2002, 03, 16
Home arena: Princeton Ice Arena
Head coach: Todd Frederick
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coach: Nathan Cairns
Top returning forwards: Senior Hunter Orrock (10-2--12), senior Nick Hunn (3-4--7), senior Markus Abrahamson (5-1--6)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Matthew Swanson (1-10--11), senior Lake Glaser (6-3--9)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Ryce Thiel

Proctor Rails
Last year: 9-15-2
Conference (record): Lake Superior (0-5-0)
Section: 7A
State trips: 1997
Home arena: Proctor Arena
Head coach: Dan Stauber
Assistant coaches: Cory Ward, Taylor Shaw
Top returning forwards: Senior Jordan Linder (15-10--25), senior Evan O’Connor (15-8--23), senior Josh Hemming (4-6--10), junior Caden Peterson (6-4--10)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Zach Gunderson (1-8--9), senior Adrian Hane (0-5--5)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Lucas Nordquist (5-9-1, 4.59, .855)

Providence Academy Lions
Last year: 8-17-0
Conference (record): Independent Metro (2-6-0)
Section: 2A
State trips: None
Home arena: Plymouth Ice Center
Head coach: Hal Tearse
Assistant coaches: Chris Lewis, Travis Tollette, Mike Giebenhain
Top returning forwards: Senior Jacob Giesler (12-13--25), junior Zach Giesler (11-11--22), senior Kole DeRosier (4--9--13), junior Evan Spadafora (7-5--12)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Jordan Doucette (7-3--10),  senior Jacob Wickham (5-4--9), senior David Kramer (1-6--7)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Bradley Koskie (5-16-0, 4.50, .874), junior Sam Ferreira (3-1-0, 3.72, .845)

Red Lake Falls Eagles
Last year: 7-16-1
Conference (record): Northwest (2-3-1)
Section: 8A
State trips: None
Home arena: Cardin-Hunt Arena
Head coach: Trevor Page
Career record (years): 55-107-11 (6)
Assistant coaches: Eric Biermaier, Wyatt Casavan
Letterwinners returning/lost: 8/9
Top returning forwards: Junior Hunter Schmitz (3-4--7), senior Judd Wilson (5-1--6)
Top returning defenseman: Sophomore Kaydon Kenfield (0-1--1)
Top returning goaltender: Sophomore Brenden Larson (7-16-1, 5.00, .843)
The coach says: “We will be a young team with graduating nine seniors last year. We will need to improve every day and come together as a team. In the defensive end, we will need to continue our good play from last year and offensively, we will need to find some boys to put it in the net.” 

Red Wing Wingers
Last year: 17-10-0
Conference: Big 9 (11-4-0)
Section: 4A
State trips: 1995, 96, 97 Champs, 98, 99, 2002
Home arena: Prairie Island Arena
Head coach: Bob Rajanen
Assistant coaches: Anthony Boser, Dave Lynch, Reid Jacobson
Top returning forwards: Junior Cam Blue (13-19--32), senior Jack Maroushek (7-9--16), senior Mack Maroushek (1-1--2), junior Michael Stoffel (0-2--2)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Teddy Lillico (4-11--15), senior Logan Sammon (3-5--8), senior Jack Nevitt (1-1--2)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Zach Harding (17-10-0, 3.02, .895)

Redwood Valley Cardinals
Last year: 15-13-0
Conference (record): Big South (9-7-0)
Section: 3A
State trips: None
Home arena: Redwood Area Community Center
Head coach: Blair Wassengeso
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coach: Jason Sommers
Letterwinners returning/lost: 12/11
Top returning forwards: Junior Chris Wersal (5-5--10), junior Will O’Halloran (4-4--8)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Cameran Sommers (1-11--12), junior Matthew Muetzel (0-7--7), junior Luke Ryan (8-13--21)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Jack Hawton
The coach says: “We lost 11 seniors from a year ago, but we expect to be competitive in the Big South. We have several returning players that will have to step up and fill the roles left by our seniors. The biggest hurdle the team will have to overcome is the loss of head coach Joe Stremcha. In his three years, he turned the program around and led Redwood Valley to their first appearance to the Section semifinals at Gustavus. Stepping in as the new Redwood Valley coach is Blair Wassengeso.”

River Lakes Stars
Last year: 8-17-1
Conference (record): Central Lakes (4-9-0)
Section: 6A
State trips: None
Home arena: Koronis Civic Arena, River Lakes Civic Arena
Head coach: Jack Freeman
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: Aaron Stellmach, Kirby St. John
Letterwinners returning/lost: 13/12
Top returning forwards: Junior Paxton Nelson (8-8--16), senior Blake Peterson (8-5--13), junior Luke Johnson (2-4--6)
Top returning defenseman: Junior Cameron Lemke (2-9--11)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Jonathan Terwisscha (4-11-0, 2.91, .896)

Rochester Lourdes/Dover-Eyota Eagles
Last year: 7-18-0
Conference: Independent
Section: 1A
State trips: 2000, 01, 02, 03, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13
Co-head coaches: Joe Knoepke & Bryan Frischmann
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: Jeff True, Joe Dragich, Jim Renn,
Pete Spratte
Top returning forwards: Junior Jared Anderson (17-15--32), senior Lucas Newman (13-17--30)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Seth Karsell (7-13--20), junior Paul Hofbauer (9-9--18), junior Coleton Swee (0-11--11)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Ryan Smith (4-4-0, 3.20, .876), junior Luke Alexander (3-2-0, 2.64, .891)

Sartell/St. Stephen Sabres
Last year: 17-7-3
Conference (record): Central Lakes (9-4-1)
Section: 6A
State trips: None
Home arena: Bernick’s Ice Arena
Head coach: Ryan Hacker
Career record (years): 143-107-18 (11)
Assistant coaches: Cory Oberg, David Miller, Troy Zenzen, Andrew Deters
Letterwinners returning/lost: 19/5
Top returning forwards: Junior Jack Hennemann (17-27--44), senior Trevor Dummer (11-17--28), senior Garrett Freeman (13-5--18), junior Maddux Hagy (8-10--18), senior Jake Rosenberger (12-5--17), senior Luke Spanier (7-10--17)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Connor Kalthoff (4-8--12), senior Jonny Kirchner (0-5--5)
Top returning goaltenders: Junior Cole Bright (11-5-3, 2.60, .877), junior Devin Peterson (6-2-0, 2.07, .882)
The coach says: “We return many letterwinners from last season and will look to this experience on both ends of the ice.  We’ll need this experience to start strong to be able to compete in a deep Section 6A. While we did lose our top two scorers from last year, we have a deep group of forwards who will be competing for ice time throughout the season.  Defensively, we return four players who played big minutes last season and will add a couple of defensemen eager to make their mark.  We return both  goaltenders from last year, juniors Cole Bright and Devin Peterson, and add sophomore Riley Hauck to the mix which should set up great competition for varsity playing time.”

Sauk Rapids-Rice Storm
Last year: 6-21-0
Conference (record): Central Lakes (2-10-0)
Section: 5A
State trips: 2000
Home arena: Sports Arena East
Head coach: Ken Karna
Career record (years): 20-57-2 (3)
Assistant coaches: Kyle Baklund, Mitch Gwost
Letterwinners returning/lost: 13/7
Top returning forwards: Senior Morgan Barber (14-12--26), junior Daymin Dodge (16-9--25), senior Bryce Kirt (9-3--12)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Drake Raduns-Parsley (6-7--13), senior Nevin Friesz (1-2--3)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Jason Sjogren
The coach says: “Having 13 letterwinners return is key. We are also returning three of the top four point-getters from last year. Defense will be a key factor for us this season. We are replacing a three-year starting goalie in Lukas Marlin, so relying on our defense to control the defensive zone will be a main goal.”

Simley Spartans
Last year: 4-20-2
Conference (record): Metro East (1-6-2)
Section: 4A
State trips: 1996, 2003
Home arena: Veterans Memorial Community Center
Head coach: Austyn Kryzer
Career record (years): 22-49-5 (4)
Assistant coaches: Jeff Hauck, Paul McGrath, Tom Schadegg, Matt Nitti
Letterwinners returning/lost: 16/5
Top returning forwards: Senior Konnor Carlson (14-13--27), senior Robby Watson (15-2--17), senior Peter Gorman (4-6--10)
Top returning defensemen: Senior David Sherry (3-7--10), junior Noah Roitman (5-4--9), senior Walker Smith (2-3--5), senior Jakob Myers (0-4--4)
Top returning goaltender: Senior James Royce (2-12-0, 4.89, .872)
The coach says: “We return 10 seniors with two-plus years of varsity experience, including a senior goalie, four senior defensemen and five senior forwards. This experience should help the Spartans to be competitive in the Metro East conference this season.”

South St. Paul Packers
Last year: 8-16-2
Conference (record): Metro East (4-7-2)
Section: 4A
State trips: 1947, 48, 50, 53, 54, 55, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 65, 66, 68, 69, 72, 77, 78, 80, 81, 86, 87, 89, 90, 94, 96, 2004
Home arena: Wakota Arena
Head coach: Scott Macho
Career record (years): 112-177-5 (13)
Assistant coaches: Paul Moen, Pete Schultz, Dave Simons
Letterwinners returning/lost: 15/3
Top returning forwards: Senior Matt Gellerman (23-17--40), senior Nathan Brandecker (7-10--17), senior Samuel Rohrer (8-9--17)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Ben Smith (4-9--13), senior Cade Sexauer (2-4--6), junior Jackson Luhrs (0-4--4)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Jacob Toensing (8-13-2, 4.04, .884)
The coach says: “We are looking for one of our more competitive seasons in a number of years. Strong senior goaltending with a pair of young sophomore goalies eager for playing time gives our kids a lot of confidence between the pipes.  A lot of returning senior skaters with a number of years of varsity experience, coupled with some extremely talented sophomores coming in, should make us competitive in every game this season. Having the ability to compete and score with all three to four lines this year will be one of our biggest strengths.”

Southwest Christian Stars
Last year: First season
Conference: Two Rivers
Section: 2A
State trips: None
Home arena: Chaska Community Center/Richfield Ice Arena
Head coach: Erik Westrum
Assistant coaches: Dave Schwartz, Greg Sayuk, Joe Piche

St. Cloud Cathedral Crusaders
Last year: 22-7-2
Conference: Independent
Section: 6A
State trips: 1993, 94, 2004, 08, 09, 14, 16, 17
Home arena: St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex
Head coach: Derrick Brown
Career record (years): 166-51-8 (8)
Assistant coaches: Tom Bruce, Ron Brown, Travis Schneider, David Spethmann, Cal Herold
Letterwinners returning/lost: 15/7
Top returning forwards: Sophomore Nate Warner (21-27--48), sophomore Mack Motzko (11-22--33), senior James Anderson (8-15--23), junior Jackson Savoie (6-15--21)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Jeron Hirschfield (8-16--24), junior Talon Lenzen (2-11--13), sophomore Reid Bogenholm (2-10--12)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Noah Amundson (2-0-0, 0.00, 1.000))
The coach says: “Our expectations for this coming season is to continue to build on the success and tradition that Cathedral hockey had built over the past 15 years. We will look to compete for a top spot in a very deep and competitive Section 6A. We need to replace seven very good seniors this season. We do return four forwards from our top three lines last season. However, replacing the scoring punch of Spethmann and VanHalbeck will be a key to our season. We do have some very good forwards from our JV and Bantam program that should provide us with tremendous depth this season up front and give us a more balanced attack this season. Defensively, we return five of our top six defenseman who learned to compete and become more consistent through our playoff run last season. We will need to find a goalie to replace Levinski but we have a couple of very talented younger goalies ready to battle for that position. We look to have great depth this year and the key to our season will be working hard, players accepting their roles and playing for each other. We will need some younger players to step up but we feel we have the depth to be a very competitive team come playoff time.”

St. Paul Academy Spartans
Last year: 23-5-0
Conference (record): Independent Metro (6-2-0)
Section: 4A
State trips: 2016
Home arena: Drake Arena
Head coach: Matt Funk
Career record (years): 47-12-0 (3)
Assistant coaches: Charlie Hammel, Eddie Wynne, Phil Angell
Letterwinners returning/lost: 8/10
Top returning forwards: Junior Adam Zukowski (4-4--8), sophomore Quinn Appert (0-2--2)
Top returning defensemen: Sophomore Jake Hosszu (1-11--12), sophomore Thomas Bagnoli (2-5--7), sophomore Will Rathmanner (1-5--6)
The coach says: “We are going to be very young and inexperienced. We lost 10 seniors and two juniors to next-level programs. We bring a young but experienced defensive core, but we lose over 95 percent of our scoring on a team that scored over 140 goals last year. We also lost our top goaltender who kept us under two goals a game and won over 60 games in his career. The key to this year’s team is to play strong team defense and outwork our opponents. We will go through some growing pains, but  with a focused team culture, we will look to dictate the pace of play.”

St. Paul Highland Park/Central Scots
Last year: 16-11-0
Conference: Two Rivers (8-2-0)
Section: 4A
State trips: None
Head coach: Mark Prokop
Career record (years): 21-35-1 (2)
Assistant coaches: Chad Samuelson, Dave Johnston
Letterwinners returning/lost: 15/4
Top returning forwards: Senior Gabe Nelson (19-11--30), junior Evan Lindstrom (11-18--29), senior Billy Wengler (13-7--20)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Liam King (2-2--4),  junior Charlie Wengler (2-1--3), senior Lee Froelich (1-2--3)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Jack Brandby (16-11-0, 2.98, .913)
The coach says: “Our expectations are to win the conference for the first time. We also expect to make some noise in section 4A. The strength of our team will be our four-year starter in net, Jack Brandby, and our returning 12 seniors including leading goal scorer Gabe Nelson. The keys to a successful season will be the maturity of our seniors and coming together as a team on and off the ice. We also need to play three full periods of disciplined hockey.”

St. Paul Johnson Governors
Last year: 18-7-2
Conference: Independent
Section: 4A
State trips: 1946, 47 Champs, 51, 52, 53 Champs, 54, 55 Champs, 56, 57, 59, 61, 63 Champs, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71, 84, 91, 95
Home arena: Phalen Ice Arena
Head coach: Steve “Moose” Younghans
Assistant coaches: Greg Pogreba, Mike Grover, Jim Munkwitz, Steve Houge
Top returning forwards: Senior A.J. Austin (19-4--23), senior Alex Campbell (6-10--16), junior Tommy Heesch (7-8--15), senior Chris Ranum (6-8--14)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Carl Fish (5-13--18), junior Luke Moberg (2-7--9)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Aaron Lee

Thief River Falls Prowlers
Last year: 10-16-0
Conference (record): Mariucci (5-6-0)
Section: 8A
State trips: 1945, 51, 52, 54 Champs, 55, 56 Champs, 59, 60, 65, 2006, 11, 12, 16
Home arena: Ralph Engelstad Arena
Head coach: Tim Bergland
Career record (years): 159-93-4 (9)
Assistant coaches: Rick Johnson, Scott Bergland
Letterwinners returning/lost: 12/8
Top returning forwards: Senior Aaron Myers (24-15--39), senior Zachary Lee (6-10--16), senior Jace Jorde (2-4--6), junior Hunter Larson (0-5--5)
Top returning defensemen: Sophomore Evan Bushy (3-7--10), senior Brady Anderson (3-3--6)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Nick Corneliusen (10-14-0, 3.60, .890)
The coach says: “We hope to have a team that can build off our returning players and compete for a section title. We have a few key returners. Our goaltender and returning defensemen will be a good starting point for us. Have our returning scorer back as well.”

Totino-Grace Eagles
Last year: 11-14-2
Conference (record): Northwest Suburban (8-9-1)
Section: 4A
State trips: 1993, 95, 2002 Champs, 05, 14
Home arena: Parade Ice Garden
Head coach: Brian Murphy
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: Dan DeLisle, Jason Krych, Dave Larson, Steve Gunz, Michael Larson, Ed Aguirre, Joe Bennek
Top returning forward: Senior Gavin LeMay (3-2--5)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Jake Wacek (1-10--11), junior Nick Sticha (0-4--4)

Virginia/Mt. Iron-Buhl Blue Devils
Last year: 10-15-2
Conference (record): Iron Range (3-5-0)
Section: 7A
State trips: 2005, 09, 10
Home arena: Miners Memorial Building
Head coach: Reed Larson
Career record (years): 85-142-10 (14)
Assistant coaches: Jason Strukel, Michael Miskovich
Ryan Cobby, Evan Friedlieb
Letterwinners returning/lost: 15/8
Top returning forwards: Junior Cade Moreland (13-26--39), senior Jake Seitz (19-11--30), junior Caleb Bialke (8-14--22), junior Jack Zupetz (6-8--14)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Wyatt Phaneuf (4-8--12), junior Nathan Coldagelli (2-4--6), junior Josh Daugherty (1-4--5)
Top returning goaltenders: Junior Cam Kreibich (3-1-0, 3.13, .907), junior Josh Berlin
The coach says: “We have very high expectations for the year.  We were a very young team last season with a large group of underclassmen that needed to get some much needed experience.  We experienced some very big injuries early in the year and did not get a full line-up back until mid-January.  This season, the key will be to stay healthy and utilize our experience.  Our goal is to win the Iron Range Conference and with a legitimate chance to win Section 7A and return to the State Tournament for the first time since 2010. This is a realistic goal for us.  We know  that  Greenway, Hermantown, Hibbing and Eveleth with be very strong as well. This great competition in Northern Minnesota will prepare us for a run at the end of the season.”

Waconia Wildcats
Last year: 5-22-0
Conference (record): Wright County (2-11-0)
Section: 2A
State trips: None
Home arena: Waconia City Ice Arena
Head coach: Patrick Lenton
Career record (years): 25-52-4 (3)
Assistant coaches: Andy Mair, Kyle Ryan, Chuck Nichols, Mark Schiftman, Mark Grundhofer
Letterwinners returning/lost: 8/14
Top returning forwards: Senior Max Stangret (3-9--12), junior Jacob Gregor (2-1--3), junior Tommy Lindstrom (1-2--3), junior Eli Bruellman (1-2--3)
Top returning defenseman: Senior Dylan Rosenau (3-3--6)
The coach says: “Last year we had a lot of seniors with a lot of experience, so we are turning things over to a very good group of juniors with a couple of seniors mixed in. A few of the kids got some good time last year, however, a key to our success is getting used to varsity game speed quickly in the season and finding the back of the net.”

Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines
Last year: 11-14-1
Conference (record): Mid-State (3-5-0)
Section: 6A
State trips: 1945 (as Staples), 2004
Home arena: Wadena Community Center
Head coach: Scott Woods
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: Andrew Costin, Derek Neu
Letterwinners returning/lost: 8/4
Top returning forwards: Senior Jake Dykhoff (27-22--49), junior Max Phillips (22-20--42), senior Preston Warren (19-21--40), senior Andrew Sundby (8-10--18), 
Top returning defensemen: Senior Bryce Cooper 6-12--18), senior Rylan Olson (2-13--15)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Noah Stevens (11-14-1, 4.88, .842)
The coach says: “The bulk of the team returns.  With the time put in this offseason, we hope to see marked improvement.”


Warroad Warriors
Last year: 11-16-1
Conference (record): Mariucci (2-9-0)
Section: 8A
State trips: 1948, 49, 53, 63, 69, 70, 87, 88, 89, 94 Champs, 95, 96 Champs, 97, 2000, 03 Champs, 04, 05 Champs, 07, 08, 09, 10
Home arena: The Gardens Arena
Head coach: Jay Hardwick
Career record (years): 76-58-6 (5)
Assistant coaches: Darrell Shaugabay, Michael Tveit
Scott Knutson
Letterwinners returning/lost: 17/4
Top returning forwards: Senior Carter Pelland (13-14--27), senior Kip Knutson (4-14--18), junior Jaron Moyer (7-3--10)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Max Marvin (13-13--26), senior Tanner Hallett (1-12--13), senior Keaton Hoffman (2-8--10)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Joseph Jacques (2-1-0, 3.00, .880)
The coach says: “We will return most of our team from last year with only four seniors graduating, including all of our defensemen. There will be a lot of competition amongst the team for playing time which will make us better as a whole.”

Waseca Bluejays
Last year: 16-9-2
Conference (record): Big South (11-4-1) 
Section: 1A
State trips: None
Home arena: Waseca Community Arena
Head coach: Chris Storey
Career record (years): 44-54-4 (4)
Assistant coaches: AJ Kiekenapp, Allen Anderson, Brad Dushaw, Brad Ryan
Letterwinners returning/lost: 14/7
Top returning forwards: Senior Peter Meyer (30-21--51), senior Jackson Priebe (14-17--31), senior Brett Attenberger (3-16--19), senior Nick Huebl (7-4--11)
Top returning defenseman: Junior Noah Berg (1-7--8), junior Brandon Dahnert (1-4--5)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Zach Hansen
The coach says: “The Bluejays will bring a veteran roster to the table for the 2017-18 season.  Looking to build on an 11-4 -1 record in the Big South Conference, Waseca also expects to be a top competitor in Section 1A. This group will have a very good balance of experienced varsity players as there projects to be seniors across the board through the top three lines including a very solid scoring presence in seniors Peter Meyer who will be a force in the area, and Jackson Priebe who also brings a ton of intangibles.  Add seniors Brett Attenberger and returning captain Nick Huebl, along with a very talented group of underclassmen to a balanced scoring attack. The defensive core will be led by senior Ethan Farley, along with juniors Brandon Dahnert and Noah Berg, who logged excessive minutes on the blue line last season. Two junior goaltenders in Zack Hanson and Jack Moseley will compete for the top spot between the pipes.”

Willmar Cardinals
Last year: 4-23-0
Conference (record): Central Lakes (0-12-0)
Section: 3A
State trips: 1947
Home arena: Willmar Civic Center
Head coach: Jamie Hagen
Assistant coaches: Richie Norris, Ross Dahl, Tom Woodash; Pat Breen
Top returning forwards: Senior Collin Larabee (5-4--9), senior Ty Christensen (4-3--7)
Top returning defenseman: Senior Ian Carruthers (5-8--13)
Top returning goaltenders: Junior Gunnar Banks, senior Caden Johnson

Windom Area Eagles
Last year: 7-18-0
Conference (record): Big South (3-13-0) 
Section: 3A
State trips: None
Home arena: Windom City Arena
Head coach: Jason Espenson
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coach: Travis Janssen
Top returning forwards: Sophomore Kyle Espenson (16-6--22), sophomore Mikal Anderson (6-6--12), senior Wyatt Schumacher (2-8--10)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Tylan Porath (2-9--11), senior Ethan Becker (2-7--9), junior Tanner Pigman (0-5--5)
Top returning goaltender: Sophomore Josiah Quintero 

Winona/Cotter Winhawks
Last year: 2-22-0
Conference (record): Big 9 (0-14-0)
Section: 1A
State trips: 1952
Head coach: Fran McDevitt
Assistant coaches: Cody Rondeau, Jim Martin
Letterwinners returning/lost: 12/6
Top returning forwards: Sophomore Joey Wiczek (5-4--9), sophomore Roman Grulkowski (2-6--8), junior Evan Carney (1-2--3), sophomore Jonas Trombetta (1-2--3)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Aden Kovala (3-9--12), sophomore Isaiah Syrmopoulos (1-2--3)
Top returning goaltenders: Freshman Alex Benson,  sophomore Campbell Watkins, junior Cody Bronk
The coach says: “Our team this year will again be very young.  With only two seniors and five juniors, we will need to overcome playing an inexperienced roster. Our hope is that the experience that was gained by last year’s freshmen will help out at the beginning of the season.”

Worthington Trojans
Last year: 2-21-0
Conference (record): Big South (0-16-0) 
Section: 3A
State trips: None
Home arena: Worthington Arena
Head coach: Paul Olsen
Assistant coach: Tyler Neinkerk
Top returning forwards: Junior Ryan Newman (6-4--10), junior Tommy Bauman (3-3--6), junior Lance Hibma (2-3--5), senior Andrew Olsen (3-1--4)
Top returning defensemen: Sophomore Bryce Olsen (4-2--6), Colby Nickel (5-1--6)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Carter Ponto


Photo: Mike Thill/Let's Play Hockey

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