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

11/22/2017, 10:15am CST
By Let's Play Hockey

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


Andover Huskies
Last year: 7-19-0
Conference (record): Northwest Suburban (7-10-0)
Section: 7AA
State trips: None
Home arena: Andover Community Center
Head coach: Mark Manney
Career record (years): 101-100-11 (8)
Assistant coaches: Bill Thoreson, Brett Barta, Jake Mellem, Al Fritsinger, Mark Cotter
Letterwinners returning/lost: 18/2
Top returning forwards: Junior Charlie Schoen (15-22--37), senior Nick Dainty (19-13--32), senior Brandon McNamara (6-11--17), senior Evan Boettcher (4-7--11)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Preston Larson (5-11--16), junior Dylan Livgard (2-6--8)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Ben Fritsinger (9-14-2, 2.89, .920)
The coach says: “Andover will be an improved team after a couple of down years. With 18 returning lettermen and 16 players moving up from a Bantam AA team that was consistently ranked among the best in the state, the competition for playing time will be intense. We should offer a package of gritty, hard-working forwards, mobile defensemen and excellent goaltending that will allow us to compete against the better teams in the state. That being said, our schedule is formidable with a full slate of Northwest Suburban Conference and Section 7AA games to go along with a trip to Moorhead. For our team to reach its potential, we will have to see increased production from the returning forwards, a commitment to playing good team defense, and good goaltending from returning starter Ben Fritsinger.”


Anoka Tornadoes
Last year: 11-15-1
Conference (record): Northwest Suburban (9-8-1)
Section: 5AA
State trips: 1985, 90, 97, 98, 2003 Champs, 16
Home arena: Anoka Area Ice Arena
Head coach: Jerrid Reinholz
Career record (years): 11-15-1 (1)
Assistant coaches: Justin Reinholz, Ted Mishulis, Troy Riddle
Top returning forwards: Senior Carter Perry (16-2--18), senior Adam Novack (7-9--16), senior Nick Revering (4-9--13), senior Casey Orn (4-5--9)
Top returning defenseman: Junior Brendan Sloth (1-6--7)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Joey Miller (5-4-0, 3.68, .873)


Apple Valley Eagles
Last year: 8-18-0
Conference (record): South Suburban (4-14-0)
Section: 3AA
State trips: 1981, 92, 93, 96 Champs, 2010
Home arena: Apple Valley Sports Arena
Head coach: Chris Sikich
Career record (years): 28-73-2 (4)
Assistant coaches: Matt Lundin, Tom Erickson, Mike Otto, Tony Sikich, Pete Sikich, Adam Robson
Letterwinners returning/lost: 16/5
Top returning forwards: Senior Will Wright (6-12--18), senior Parker Jamison (9-8--17), senior Ryan Gale (7-8--15), senior Corey Zuelow (5-4--9)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Ethan Michaelson (2-7--9), senior Ryan Daggett (0-8--8), senior Nick Plagge (0-7--7) 
Top returning goaltenders: Junior Ethan Kapps (5-7-0, 3.02, .889), senior Lucky Bolden (2-9-0, 4.07, .852)
The coach says: “We have a veteran group this year with 16 letterwinners returning this year, with a core group of seven entering their third year of playing at the varsity level. This group is excited to come to the rink every day and compete.”


Bemidji Lumberjacks
Last year: 14-11-1
Conference (record): Mariucci (6-4-1)
Section: 8AA
State trips: 1972, 73, 74, 76, 85, 86, 2015, 16
Home arena: Bemidji Community Arena
Head coach: Eric Monsrud
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coach: Kraig Petrowske
Top returning forwards: Junior Hunter Olson (11-8--19), senior Ryan Pogue (7-10--17), senior Josh Baker (6-6--12)
Top returning defenseman: Senior Taylor Anderson (2-2--4)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Matt Fitzgerald (8-9-1, 2.06, .922)


Benilde-St. Margaret’s Red Knights
Last year: 7-18-1
Conference (record): Metro West (4-2-1)
Section: 6AA
State trips: 1999 Champs, 2001 Champs, 08, 12 Champs
Home arena: St. Louis Park Rec Center
Head coach: Ken Pauly
Career record (years): 460-228-30 (27)
Assistant coaches: John Russo, Tom Klein, Dave Liebrenz
Letterwinners returning/lost: 10/10
Top returning forwards: Senior Dylan Hoen (6-15--21), senior Michael McNeil (6-12--18), senior Joe Collings (12-6--18), senior Jordan Roo (5-8--13)
Top returning defensemen: Sophomore Nate Schweitzer (2-8--10), senior Nate Clark (0-5--5), senior Jerome Newhouse (1-4--5)
The coach says: “Because of our returning varsity regulars, we believe that we can have a competitive hockey team. With that said, we will be very young at some key positions, so we will have to approach the season with patience as we continue to build. We believe that Dylan Hoen and Ian Bahr have the potential to have break-out seasons at the forward position. A lot will depend on the production of upperclassmen such as Joe Collins, Jordan Roo, Matt Kocourek and Jerome Newhouse. If those players can translate last season’s varsity experience into points, then we can have much more than just a rebuilding year. Nate Clark and Nate Schweitzer will anchor a young but much improved blueline. Improved depth at the goalie position is a plus, but we will be very young in net.”


Blaine Bengals
Last year: 14-12-1
Conference (record): Northwest Suburban (10-7-0)
Section: 5AA
State trips: 1992, 96, 99, 2000 Champs, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 15
Home arena: Fogerty Arena
Head coach: Chris Carroll
Career record (years): 60-25-2 (3)
Assistant coaches: Jonathan Kell, Nick Kulenkamp, Steve Witkowski
Letterwinners returning/lost: 7/12
Top returning forwards: Junior Bryce Brodzinski (18-27--45), junior Will Hillmasn (17-23--40), senior Mick Rynerson (13-8--21)
Top returning defenseman: Senior Brian Broos (2-13--15)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Joe Daninger (13-10-1, 3.29, .894)
The coach says: “The expectations are high entering the 2017-18 season. We bring back seven players from last year’s team, which may appear to be a low number, particularly for a program like Blaine. However, those seven players are very gifted players, several of which possess very high skill sets and will be heavily relied upon. We have a large group of young players entering high school hockey from our bantam team. These players have played in back-to-back Bantam AA state tournaments and have a culture of success that stems back several years. Both the returning letter winners and young players will have a great opportunity to prove themselves and continue the strong tradition that Blaine has built.”


Blake Bears
Last year: 13-14-0
Conference (record): Independent Metro (1-7-0)
Section: 2A
State trips: 1995, 99, 2006, 07, 08
Home arena: Blake Arena
Head coach: Greg May
Career record (years): 51-32-2 (3)
Assistant coaches: Jay Phillips, Nick Oslund, JT Wyman, Kasey Boyd, Tom Doyle
Letterwinners returning/lost: 13/6
Top returning forwards: Senior Sasha Shogren (21-15--36),  senior Bennett Hawley (13-23--36), senior Jackson Saunders (11-19--30), senior Charlie Akeny (4-16--20)
Top returning defensemen: Sophomore Will Svenddal (4-3--7), sophomore Lachen Reid (2-5--7)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior John Broucek (9-9-0, 3.81, .848), freshman Aksel Reid (4-5-0, 3.76, .854)
The coach says: “We will have another young team this season and are excited about our jump up to play in Class AA. We have a lot of talented and creative players who like to make plays with the puck and have solid team speed up front. The keys for a successful season for us is going to be the growth our returners made from year one with our coaching staff to year two, as well as how quickly our newcomers can transition from bantam hockey to varsity hockey. We have a certain way we want to play in all three zones, and if we can stick to our principles, play within our core values, and stay emotionally under control we will have success.”


Bloomington Jefferson Jaguars
Last year: 11-16-1
Conference (record): Metro West (6-2-0)
Section: 3AA
State trips: 1980, 81 Champs, 82, 85, 86, 88, 89 Champs, 92 Champs, 93 Champs, 94 Champs, 95, 97, 98, 2000, 02, 05
Home arena: Bloomington Ice Garden
Head coach: Jeff Lindquist
Career record: 589-308-32
Assistant coaches: Dan Charbonneau, Jake Mielke, Nolan Pehrson, Keith George, Chris Knauff, Virg Senescall, Matt Elsen, Donny Williams
Letterwinners returning/lost: 14/4
Top returning forwards: Senior Hunter Jacobs (8-12--20), senior Princeton Oppong (3-13--16), senior Nathan Johannes (8-6--14), senior Blake Camuel (6-4--10)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Tristan Larson (7-9--16), senior  Alex Miller (3-9--12), senior Nick Goedderz (4-2--6)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Evan Redepenning (8-8-0, 3.23, .893)
The coach says: “The Jaguars return a solid core of players from last year’s squad. The team should expect to compete for the conference and section titles. Growth during the off-season will be key to the team’s success. ”


Brainerd Warriors
Last year: 15-10-2
Conference (record): Central Lakes (8-0-2)
Section: 8AA
State trips: None
Home arena: Brainerd Area Civic Center
Head coach: Dave Aus
Career record (years): 273-182-17 (18)
Assistant coaches: Kurt King, Chico Resch, Tony Sarsland, Dave Stengrim
Top returning forwards: Senior Jack Evans (15-20--35), senior Matt Fischer (16-15--31), junior Mason Kruse (10-11--21), junior Riley Andres (8-8--16), junior Wyatt Andres (6-9--15)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Gavin Andres (6-10--16), senior Luke Johnson (2-7--9), junior Joe Klang (1-5--6)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Colin Kleffman (6-5-1, 3.03, .857)


Buffalo Bison
Last year: 14-12-0
Conference (record): Mississippi 8 (8-3-0)
Section: 8AA
State trips: None
Home arena: Buffalo Civic Center
Head coach: Aaron Johnson
Career record (years): 143-110-12 (10)
Assistant coaches: Bill Manuel, Bruce Johnson, Thomas Johnson
Letterwinners returning/lost: 9/13
Top returning forwards:  Junior Treyton Welch (5-5--10), junior Ben Klein (5-5--10)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Joe McNamara (3-11--14), senior Ben Lindvall (2-3--5)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Nathan Mueller (14-12-0, 2.17, .912)
The coach says: “Coach Aaron Johnson and the Buffalo Bison have high expectations for the upcoming season and will be looking to improve on the winning strides they made last season. Buffalo expects to be in the mix for the Mississippi 8 title and a top-4 seed in section 8AA. The strengths of the team start in goal. Junior netminder Nathan Mueller returns after starting every game as a sophomore.  The defense returns three letterwinners that will be expected to log big minutes. The forwards will benefit from the addition of young, talented sophomores to add a scoring punch to the lineup. Experienced juniors will need to improve upon their strong first seasons and be leaders on the ice.”


Burnsville Blaze
Last year: 17-9-1
Conference (record): South Suburban (14-3-1)
Section: 3AA
State trips: 1983, 84, 85 Champs, 86 Champs, 87, 90, 91, 2007, 16
Home arena: Burnsville Ice Center
Head coach: Janne Kivihalme
Career record (years): 193-95-19 (11)
Assistant coaches: Dan Boeser, Frank Senta, Randy Johnson, Keith Taylor, Aaron Dupre, Jake Senta
Letterwinners returning/lost: 8/10
Top returning forwards: Junior Logan Kittleson (3-13--16), senior Robbie Wedan (6-7--13), senior Jake Bernhagen (1-11--12), senior Nick Willmert (3-7--10)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Brehdan Engum (6-18--24), junior Connor Thomas (4-4--8), senior Tierler Sanders (2-3--5)
The coach says: “Lost majority of the team’s point-getters and starting goalie to graduation. Returners and new players must step up to fill the void. Solid core group coming back from last year’s team, with impressive young talent moving up from Bantams and JV team. It will be a first varsity experience to many players this year. Group will improve each day and will be very competitive at the end of the year.”


Cambridge-Isanti Bluejackets
Last year: 8-16-2
Conference (record): Mississippi 8 (4-7-1)
Section: 7AA
State trips: 1992
Home arena: Isanti County David C. Johnson Arena
Head coach: Chris Sylvester
Assistant coaches: Lucas Rouen, Tom Treichel, Alex Cummings, Dave Roddy
Top returning forwards: Senior Derek Becklin (4-12--16), senior Luke Miller (1-2--3), senior Harrison Grandgenett (0-2--2)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Jace Wilkinson (4-4--8), junior Austin Lawson (1-1--2)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Logan Hyland (8-13-2, 4.51, .854)


Centennial Cougars
Last year: 22-5-1
Conference (record): Northwest Suburban (15-2-0)
Section: 5AA
State trips: 2004 Champs, 13, 14
Home arena: Centennial
Head coach: Ritch Menne
Career record (years): 109-50-10 (6)
Assistant coaches: Chris Johnson, Gary Tolkinen, Ted Cheesebrough
Letterwinners returning/lost: 16/6
Top returning forwards: Senior Lucas McGregor (29-26--55), senior Hayden Brickner (14-23--37), senior Jack Menne (8-20--28), senior Carter Wagner (18-7--25)
Top returning defensemen: Junior William Francis (2-11--13), senior Robert Carlson (2-6--8), senior Luke Arends (2-3--5), senior Caleb Nelson (1-4--5)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Travis Allen (14-4-1, 1.88, .908), senior Bryce Crowley (8-1-0, 1.67, .916)
The coach says: ““This 2017-18 Cougars are as good as a team as we’ve seen in the seven seasons since Ritch came on as head coach in 2011, and that includes the 2013 and 2014 state tournament teams and last year’s 22-win squad,” declared Assistant Coach Ted Cheesebrough. “We will have no fewer than 14 seniors on the roster, so it’s State Tournament or bust this season,” Cheesebrough added. Experience is the greatest strength of this team – having 16 returners is invaluable. It’s ridiculous that we return both goaltenders and seven defensemen from a 22-win team. Our guys are mature, smart, and familiar – nothing can surprise or alarm them. Plus, we have two guys, Lucas McGregor and Carter Wagner, who could shoot an apple off of the top of your goalie’s head from 100 feet away.The maturity and familiarity of this roster fills us with confidence entering the season.”


Champlin Park Rebels
Last year: 12-13-1
Conference (record): Northwest Suburban (8-9-1)
Section: 5AA
State trips: 1995
Home arena: Champlin Ice Forum
Head coach: Pat Janostin
Career record (years): 88-131-12 (9)
Assistant coaches: Bryce Macken, Sam Phillips, Chad Damerow, Tommy Potter, John Russell
Letterwinners returning/lost: 16/7
Top returning forwards: Senior Brady Swanstrom (18-9--27), junior Jack Karges (2-18--20), junior Derek Roberts (14-5--19), senior Sam Schuster (4-8--12)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Will Ellingson (5-13--18), senior Jeff Rylance (0-9--9), junior Samuel Lee (4-3--7)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Brennan Boynton (11-12-1, 2.81, .915)
The coach says: “We will have an experienced team this year as 16 players return to our lineup who played significant minutes for us over the last couple of years. We expect to be able to compete every night with the teams we will be facing. In order for us to really be successful, we will need to grow as a team defensively and will need to find scoring from our depth forwards.”


Chanhassen Storm
Last year: 11-14-1
Conference (record): Metro West (3-6-1)
Section: 2AA
State trips: None
Home arena: Victoria Field House
Head coach: Jessie Willis
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: Antti Laaksonen, Dan Hoehne, Sam Sather
Top returning forwards: Senior Jack Haley (19-11--30), senior Tommy Heiland (3-10--13), senior T.J. Truso (7-5--12)
Top returning defenseman: Senior Parker Woolf (3-3--6)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Zach Swisher (6-12-1, 3.56, .878), sophomore Josh Weyandt (4-2-0, 2.19, .908)


Chaska Hawks
Last year: 17-8-1
Conference (record): Metro West (5-2-1)
Section: 2AA
State trips: None
Home arena: Chaska Community Center
Head coach: Dave Snuggerud
Assistant coaches: Jake Krey, Sean Bloomfield, Thor Josefson
Top returning forwards: Sophomore Shane Lavelle (17-19--36), junior Blaine Warnert (14-18--32), sophomore Rhett Pitlick (12-10--22), sophomore Nick Olmscheid (9-9--18), junior Ethan Benz (5-7--12)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Mike Koster (16-19--35), sophomore William Magnuson (5-13--18), sophomore Calvin Barrett (2-15--17), junior Billy Bronson (2-15--17)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Ben Urbanicz (10-5-1, 2.07, .920), junior Justin Bach (7-3-0, 3.32, .883)
The coach says: “Two strong goalies and five returning defensemen.”


Cloquet/Esko/Carlton Lumberjacks
Last year: 16-9-2
Conference (record): Lake Superior (6-10)
Section: 7AA
State trips: 1982, 92, 93, 2002, 08
Home arena: Cloquet Area Recreation Center
Head coach: Kevin Smalley
Career record (years): 239-129-11 (14)
Assistant coaches: Erik Hanson, Adam Pavlatos, Jamie Langenbrunner, Kyle Young
Top returning forwards: Junior Landon Langenbrunner (15-18--33), senior Branden Matteen (9-9--18), junior Gavin Rasmussen (7-10--17), senior Trevor Inman (7-9--16)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Dane Stoyanoff (3-19--22), senior Ryan Nelson (5-10--15), junior Andy Acers (2-5--7)


Coon Rapids Cardinals
Last year: 6-19-1
Conference (record): Northwest Suburban (4-13-1)
Section: 5AA
State trips: None
Home arena: Coon Rapids Ice Center
Head coach: Steve Moe
Assistant coaches: Jacob Mars, Jeff Zimmel, Tony Hirte, Adam Gronlund
Letterwinners returning/lost: 10/7
Top returning forwards: Senior Michael Crosbie (5-5--10), senior Tyler George (5-5--10)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Nick Laakkonen (2-4--6), senior Matt Ammann (0-4--4)
The coach says: “Our expectation is to be competitive in every game. We will be a tough team and push to be towards the top of our conference. Defensively we are very strong, and will thrive off effort and tenacity. The tougher and harder we play with purpose and team effort the more success we can have.”


Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders
Last year: 19-8-0
Conference (record): Suburban East (14-2-0)
Section: 6AA
State trips: 1988, 2006 Champs, 09
Home arena: Highland Arena
Co-head coaches: Jim O’Neill & Charlie Basco
Career record (years): 573-311-39 (38)
Assistant coaches: Chris Hickey, Mark Rancone, Paul Ryan
Letterwinners returning/lost: 12/8
Top returning forwards: Sophomore Matt Gleason (23-20--43), senior Joey Gimberlin (17-15--32), senior Joe Buckingham (8-15--23)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Daniel Magnuson (9-17--26), senior Billy Honsa (2-6--8), senior William Pope (0-6--6)
The coach says: “We return 12 skaters, including six of our top seven scorers and four of our top five defensemen. We will have plenty of experienced players who have matured over the last nine months. Our non-conference schedule is challenging and we will need to make progress against these teams if we want to be considered a top-tier team. Last year, many of those teams dominated us.The Suburban East schedule will produce quality games top to bottom. There is never a night off. Our Section 6AA will demand three quality wins to get to State. We have an exciting group with some high-end players,  a number of very good high school players and some character guys. We will need to put up some points against top competition while being able to protect our end until a goalie emerges. We like our players and what they brought last year. They put in a lot of hard work over the summer and with a little more belief in their game, we believe they can push us forward. ”


Dodge County Wildcats
Last year: 5-20-0
Conference: Independent
Section: 1AA
State trips: None
Home arena: Four Seasons Arena
Head coach: Chris Ernest
Career record (years): 5-20-0 (1)
Assistant coaches: Drew Wohlfiel, Rod Johnson
Letterwinners returning/lost: 14/4
Top returning forwards: Senior Alexander Nelson (7-7--14), senior Chandler D’Incau (4-7--11), senior Alex Haala (4-5--9)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Cole Kundert
The coach says: “We stepped it up this summer and had a very productive off-season with great participation. After summer camp, the boys have continued to skate and work out. With a large number of returning veterans, we should be all on the same page and ready to make an impact in our first game. Leading scorers Alex Nelson and Chandler D’Incau are returning seniors. Last year’s starting goalie Cole Kundert, returns as a junior.”    


Duluth East Greyhounds
Last year: 18-9-1
Conference: Independent
Section: 7AA
State trips: 1958, 60 Champs, 61, 64, 75, 91, 94, 95 Champs, 96, 97, 98 Champs, 2000, 03, 04, 05, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
Home arena: Duluth Heritage Sports Center
Head coach: Mike Randolph
Career record (years): 561-170-24 (28)
Assistant coaches: Brendan Brooks, Dylan Mills, Louie Krenzen, Mike Renier, Jake Boese,Tim Cortes
Top returning forwards: Senior Ian Mageau (9-28--37), senior Garret Worth (21-13--34), junior Ryder Donovan (11-22--33), junior Hunter Paine (3-22--25), senior Austi Jouppi (7-10--17), senior Brendan Baker (9-8--17), senior Nick Lanigan (12-3--15), junior Jack Fitzgerald (7-8--15), junior Ricky Lyle (5-9--14)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Luke LaMaster (6-10--16), senior Will Fisher (1-6--7)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Lukan Hanson (4-3-0, 1.61, .913)


Duluth Marshall Hilltoppers
Last year: 13-12-1
Conference (record): Lake Superior (2-3-1)
Section: 7AA
State trips: 2001, 05, 06, 07, 08, 12, 13
Home arena: Mars Lakeview Arena
Head coach: Brendan Flaherty
Career record (years): 369-210-19 (23)
Assistant coaches: Bill Owens, Justin Hanna
Top returning forwards: Senior Levi Stauber (27-24--51), senior George Grannis (16-37--47), junior Keelan Golat (9-14--23), junior Carter Sullivan (12-7--19)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Willy Stauber (7-18--25), junior Peter Hansen (5-14--19), sophomore Nolan Krenzen (2-11--13)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Cam Brandt (11-7-0, 2.37, .899), junior Alex Busick (2-5-1, 3.00, .892)


Eagan Wildcats
Last year: 15-12-0
Conference (record): South Suburban (8-10-0)
Section: 3AA
State trips: 2006, 11, 12, 14
Home arena: Eagan Ice Arena
Head coach: Mike Taylor
Career record (years): 225-124-14 (15)
Assistant coaches: Doug Wattson, Mike Thomas
Top returning forwards: Junior Nick Sherek (9-12--21), junior Keegan Johnson (10-8--18), sophomore Johnny Meiers (5-10--15)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Trevor Miklya (8-6--14), junior Jonah Miklya (4-6--10)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Brandon Toussaint (8-5-0, 2.77, .894)


East Ridge Raptors
Last year: 4-21-2
Conference (record): Suburban East (1-13-2)
Section: 3AA
State trips: None
Home arena: Cottage Grove Ice Arena
Head coach: Dustin Vogelgesang
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: Kori Pearson, David Cole, Ryan Guentzel
Letterwinners returning/lost: 13/8
Top returning forwards: Senior Tyler Johnson (0-13--13), senior Joseph Dokken (8-4--12), senior Gunnar Edlund (4-6--10)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Nick Basten (1-4--5), senior Luke Landin (1-1--2), senior Caydon Meyer (0-2--2)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Tomy Ogren (0-4-1, 3.89, .837)
The coach says: “We expect to improve on last year’s record. To do that we will have to have great team effort. The quicker we can become a family, the sooner we will find success. With three of our top D returning, Luke Landin, Caydon Meyer & Nick Basten and junior Goalie Tomy Ogren, we should be able to defend well. We will be looking to a group of forwards to all contribute on the score sheet.”


Eastview Lightning
Last year: 14-11-1
Conference (record): South Suburban (10-7-1)
Section: 3AA
State trips: 2001, 13
Home arena: Apple Valley Sports Arena
Head coach: Drey Bradley
Assistant coaches: Sam Bauler, Ryan O'Shea, Nick Casalenda, Sam Nettell
Letterwinners returning/lost: 11/9
Top returning forwards: Senior Nate Bordson (13-13--26), junior Zach Anderson (8-18--26), senior Chris Fan (6-10--16)
Top returning defenseman: Senior Joe Stillings (1-6--7)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Ben Beattie (9-9-1, 2.69, .899)
The coach says: “Have experienced players returning in all positions. Need to continue to improve in team play in all areas from day one.  Also, finding ways to finish in the tough games will be key to having success this season.”    

 

Eden Prairie Eagles
Last year: 23-5-2
Conference (record): Lake (8-0-0)
Section: 2AA
State trips: 1992, 99, 2001, 03, 09 Champs, 11 Champs, 14, 15, 16, 17
Home arena: Eden Prairie Civic Center
Head coach: Lee Smith
Career record (years): 457-179-34 (24)
Assistant coaches: Paul Ranheim, Steve Olinger, Tom Gerdes, Matt Bertram
Top returning forwards: Junior Jack Jensen (18-25--43), junior Spencer Rudrud (7-10--17), junior Tim Piechowski (4-4--8), senior Ryan Lesko (6-2--8)
Top returning defenseman: Senior Andrew Erwin (3-7--10)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Andrew Dietrich (6-1-1, 1.69, .929)


Edina Hornets
Last year: 20-7-1
Conference (record): Lake (6-2-0)
Section: 6AA
State trips: 1973, 74 Champs, 77, 78 Champs, 79 Champs (East), 81 (West), 55, 56, 57, 60, 62, 67, 68, 69 Champs, 70, 71 Champs, 72, 82 Champs, 83, 84 Champs, 87, 88 Champs, 89, 95, 96, 97 Champs, 98, 2000, 07, 08, 09, 10 Champs, 11, 12, 13 Champs, 14 Champs, 15
Home arena: Braemar Ice Arena
Head coach: Curt Giles
Career record: 375-121-20
Assistant coaches: Dave Terwilliger, Dick Blooston, Josh Harding, Greg Aslakson
Top returning forwards: Senior Sam Walker (24-28--52), senior Lewis Crosby (19-25--44), junior Jett Jungels (21-22--43), junior Mason Nevers (8-18--26)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Ben Brinkman (12-12--24), sophomore Jake Boltmann (3-11--14), junior Mike Vorlicky (3-7--10)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Garrett Mackay (18-7-1, 2.07, .910)


Elk River/Zimmerman Elks
Last year: 22-5-0
Conference (record): Northwest Suburban (16-1-0)
Section: 7AA
State tourney appearances: 1993, 99, 2001 Champs, 02, 04, 05
Home arena: Elk River Ice Arena
Head coach: Ben Gustafson
Career record (years): 22-5-0 (1)
Assistant coaches: Joe Blake, Justin Micek, Mikey Jackson
Letterwinners returning/lost: 8/12
Top returning forwards: Junior Jack Perbix (17-23--40), senior Connor Bizal (13-27--40), senior Tommy Laabs (9-9--18)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Taiyo Larson (0-6--6), junior Joey Foss (1-4--5)
The coach says: “We lost a lot of players to graduation, but are extremely excited about the players we have coming back along with the kids coming in from the bantam level.  ”


Farmington Tigers
Last year: 9-17-1
Conference (record): South Suburban (6-11-1)
Section: 1AA
State trips: 1994, 2000, 16
Home arena: Schmitz-Maki Arena
Head coach: John Marsh
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: Andrew Thomas, Rich Kadrlik, Travis Marsh
Letterwinners returning/lost: 9/13
Top returning forwards: Junior Luke Westfield (5-4--9), junior Mason Enright (6-1--7), junior Josh Ask (2-3--5)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Ethan Gauer (4-9--13), senior Joe Wolters (2-8--10)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Gavin Enright (9-16-1, 3.60, .905)
The coach says: “We will be a young team full of very talented hockey players. We have outstanding leadership from our captains as well as our returning players. We will be a very fast team that plays with a lot of grit and determination. I have high expectations of our incoming sophomores as they bring a lot of size and skill to the team. Our juniors are all complete hockey players and should dominate the stat sheets this season. Our seniors define what it means to play Minnesota high school hockey. They are great hockey players as well as great leaders and teammates. Our goalies are young but possess extremely high compete levels and will anchor our success.”


Forest Lake Rangers
Last year: 6-18-3
Conference (record): Suburban East (3-11-2)
Section: 7AA
State trips: None
Home arena: FLAAA Sports Center
Head coach: Jon Loo
Career record (years): 24-47-7 (3)
Assistant coaches: Chad Zowin, Bill Coleman, Matt Schugel, Matt Wethammer, Christian Gaffy
Top returning forwards: Senior Dylan Fink (10-16--26), senior Zack Raabe (10-13--23), junior Dalton Saltness (10-9--19), junior Jacob Zowin (6-6--12), senior Wyatt Anderson (5-6--11)
Top returning defenseman: Senior Drake Best (2-9--11)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Brady Peterson (4-13-0, 4.23, .883)
The coach says: “Our team will have good overall speed and agility this year. We’ll have to balance the finesse game with some hard work in the corners to be successful. We have lots of really good kids this year too, so I expect it to be a fun year with everyone playing for each other.”


Grand Rapids Thunderhawks
Last year: 23-7-1
Conference: Independent
Section: 7AA
State trips: 1972, 74, 75 Champs, 76 Champs, 77, 78, 79, 80 Champs, 81, 88, 90, 91, 2006, 07, 16, 17 Champs
Home arena: IRA Civic Center
Head coach: Chris Marinucci
Assistant coaches: Beau Geisler, Eric Glorvigen, Roger Mischke
Top returning forwards: Senior Jack Burnson (9-8--17), junior Anthony DelGreco (1-8--9), senior Evan Mischke (3-5--8), senior Nano DeGuiseppi (2-6--8)
Top returning defenseman: Senior Michael Heitkamp (4-19--23)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Gabe Holum (10-2-1, 2.13, .910)


Hastings Raiders
Last year: 8-18-0
Conference (record): Metro East (5-7-0)
Section: 3AA
State trips: 1971, 85, 98, 99, 2000, 01
Home arena: Hastings Civic Arena
Head coach: Adam Welch
Career record (years): 14-36-0 (2)
Assistant coaches: Drew Bauer, Matt Klein, Ryan Bussey
Letterwinners returning/lost: 10/11
Top returning forwards: Sophomore Leo Otto (13-6--19), junior Logan Boogren (5-6--11), senior Morgan Sweeney (3-4--7)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Scott Tuin (4-10-0, 4.04, .864), senior Jacob Greengo (4-8-0, 4.62, .846)
The coach says: “We could be a young team this year. We only have 10 letterwinners returning this year and a lot of those guys we lost were in important roles like pp/pk. It will give our young guys a chance to earn some playing time. In order to have success, we will have to be a very hardworking and system-sound team.”


Hill-Murray Pioneers
Last year: 19-7-4
Conference (record): Classic Suburban (9-1-1)
Section: 4AA
State trips: 1975, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 83 Champs, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 91 Champs, 92, 93, 97, 99, 2000, 02, 06, 07, 08 Champs, 09, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17
Home arena: Aldrich Arena
Head coach: Bill Lechner
Career record (years): 485-203-24 (27)
Assistant coaches: Mark Tollefsbol, Pat Schafhauser
Letterwinners returning/lost: 7/12
Top returning forwards: Junior Ben Helgeson (13-15--28), senior Mike Fleischhacker (11-11--22), junior Joseph Quast (8-8--16), senior Troy Tischler (1-10--11)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Joey Petronack (5-14--19), sophomore Brett Oberle (2-7--9)
The coach says: “We did have a larger number of seniors than we usually do for our program last year, but our outlook is still very optimistic for this 2017-18 season. Our letterwinners returning along with our new players from a very successful JV season give us a good chance to strongly compete again for top honors. The returners have experienced Conference Championships, Section Championships, and the State Tournament which helps as we move forward to this hockey season.”


Holy Angels Stars
Last year: 6-17-3
Conference: Independent
Section: 6AA
State trips: 1999, 2002 Champs, 03, 04, 05 Champs
Home arena: Richfield Ice Arena
Head coach: Patrick Griswold
Career record (years): 78-71-4 (7)
Assistant coaches: TBD
Letterwinners returning/lost: 17/1
Top returning forwards: Senior Spencer Sande (8-10--18), senior Freddie Macciocchi (7-9--16), junior Jack Hendrickson (5-7--12), senior Jack Knapp (6-6--12)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Riley Zangs (1-11--12), senior Pete Laird (3-6--9), sophomore Chad Cousineau (2-4--6)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Luke Milelr (4-9-2, 3.77, .896), senior Brendan Pasdo (2-8-1, 4.34, .865)
The coach says: “The Stars only graduated one senior last year and return 12 seniors for 2017-18. We will have extensive depth at all positions and there will be a battle every day to be in the line-up. Our two captains, Riley Zangs and Jack Knapp, lead a strong group of seniors.  In addition to our strong group of returners, we also have a number of players from our JV as well as new incoming sophomores and freshmen that will compete for ice time.  In goal, we have three returners, led by seniors Luke Miller and Brendan Pasdo. Both have the capability of leading us every night. On defense, we return five defensemen that played a regular shift - Riley Zangs, Henry Bitter, Patrick Daley, Pete Laird, and Alex Coleman.  Up front, we return everyone - except Isaac Baron, who is now playing for the North Iowa Bulls. The keys to our season will be to find consistent scoring, adapting to a new coaching staff and culture, and the will to compete every single night. We had a very strong summer on and off the ice, and the new staff is very excited about the future of Stars’ hockey. The future is very bright for AHA Hockey!”


Holy Family Catholic Fire
Last year: 22-5-1
Conference (record): Wright County (8-0-0)
Section: 2AA
State trips: None
Home arena: Victoria Field House
Head coach: Noel Rahn
Career record (years): 131-52-5 (7)
Assistant coaches: Bob Gleason, Joe Gleason, Ryan Thang
Letterwinners returning/lost: 10/8
-Top returning forwards: Senior Ben Almquist (22-35--57), senior Joe Hankinson (8-10--18), junior AJ Kittleson (1-8--9), senior John Simon (2-5--7)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Brady Ziemer (34-19--23), senior Joe Simon (7-7--14), junior Dan Reddan (1-4--5)
Top returning goaltender: Sophomore Caven Slocum
The coach says: “Expectations will be to make the State Tournament. We got to our first section final last year and we look to improve upon that this year. We have lost some very good players but are happy with our underclassmen filling in the roles they left. We also have some new players who have joined the Fire and will step in right away and make a big impact. The keys are to get these new players to gel with the talented upperclassmen we return to make a strong playoff push.”


Hopkins Royals
Last year: 2-24-0
Conference (record): Lake (0-8-0)
Section: 6AA
State trips: 1975, 80
Home arena: Hopkins Pavilion Ice Arena
Head coach: Cory Peterson
Career record (years): 30-60-8 (4)
Assistant coaches: Chad Laroache, Richard Kakach, Shawn Normandin
Letterwinners returning/lost: 9/8
Top returning forwards: Junior Wyatt Nelson (4-3--7), junior Henry Sweeney (5-1--6), junior Sam Haberman (1-1--2)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Connor Staack (1-3--4), senior Jesper Hoffman (0-1--1)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Bobby Wilson, junior Ethan Myers
The coach says: “We expect to bounce back from a year of injuries and compete in our conference and section. This year we have a great group of young players who have talent and a great work ethic. You combine that with our senior leadership and three strong goalies, we look forward to a fun year.”


Irondale-St. Anthony Knights
Last year: 7-19-0
Conference (record): Northwest Suburban (6-12-0)
Section: 4AA
State trips: 1979, 80, 81
Home arena: Schwan Super Rink
Head coach: Jerry Hayes
Assistant coaches: Pat Fagerlee, Tim Fisher, Travis Baker
Letterwinners returning/lost: 18/4
Top returning forwards: Junior Ryan Solz (11-4--15), junior Kevin Kvaal (1-10--11), senior Nick Ellingson (4-5--9)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Gunner Bourassa (4-5--9), senior Daniel Foley (2-5--7), senior Nate Chamberlain (3-2--5), senior Troy Marcott (0-5--5)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Max Eilefson (7-19-0, 4.71, .883)
The coach says: “We are excited about the upcoming season as we have a lot of players returning from last season’s team. Our strength should be on theback end with all of our defensemen returning as well as our number one goaltender. We will have to replace some goalscoring from last season but we feel like we have depth at forward. Obviously, our conference is loaded so it is always a challenge night in and night out but we are looking forward to the opportunity to break out to the next level.”


Lakeville North Panthers
Last year: 20-6-2
Conference (record): South Suburban (13-3-1)
Section: 1AA
State trips: 2002, 03, 04 (as Lakeville), 06, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15 Champs
Home arena: Ames Arena
Head coach: Trent Eigner
Career record (years): 122-49-5 (6)
Assistant coaches: Isaak Berglund, Jake Enebak, Jake Taylor
Top returning forwards: Senior Blake Brandt (23-27--50), junior Spencer Schneider (10-14--24), junior Shayne Griffin (4-6--10)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Garrett Daly (3-9--12), junior Ryan Antonakis (0-4--4)


Lakeville South Cougars
Last year: 19-11-1
Conference (record): South Suburban (10-7-0)
Section: 1AA
State trips: 2002, 03, 04 (as Lakeville), 08, 12, 17
Home arena: Hasse Arena
Head coach: A.J. Bucchino
Assistant coaches: Aaron Venasky, Ben Horsch
Top returning forwards: Senior Zach Bauer (16-5--21), junior Adam Harvey (3-6--9)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Jack Olsen (8-19--27), senior Dawson Klein (7-9--16), senior Zach Zemlak (1-12--13)


Maple Grove Crimson
Last year: 22-8-0
Conference (record): Northwest Suburban (13-4-0)
Section: 5AA
State trips: 2012, 17
Home arena: Maple Grove Community Center
Head coach: Todd Bergland
Career record (years): 36-22-0 (2)
Assistant coaches: Gordie Roberts, Kyle Koop, Troy Goetsch, Tom Miller
Letterwinners returning/lost: 7/13
Top returning forwards: Junior Trevor Kukkonen (9-15--24), junior Tyler Kostelecky (10-14--24)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Tyler Borsch (6-10--16), senior Matt Jaglo (4-11--15), senior Ryan Brandt (3-10--13)
Top returning goaltender: Sophomore Ethan Haider (13-5-0, 2.17, .914)
The coach says: “We are expecting another strong season in 2017-18. We have eleven returners next season, including five of our top 10 scorers from last year. We will be solid on defense, with three returners back and some talented sophomores joining the team. We return three forwards from our top two lines. Our starting goalie last year, who was a freshman, will return and be that much better. We are also looking forward to adding some new players from our state runner-up bantam AA team from last year.”


Minnehaha Academy Redhawks
Last year: 17-10-0
Conference (record): Independent Metro (3-4-0)
Section: 6AA
State trips: None
Home arena: Minnehaha Academy Ice Arena
Head coach: Josh Hoekstra
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: TBD
Top returning forwards: Junior Reed Bartelings (14-14--28), senior Cole Knutson (9-11--20), senior Eli Smith (5-9--14), senior Zack Puterbaugh (3-7--10)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Michael Spinner (2-24--26), junior Carter Hansen (2-5--7), sophomore Jonas Lundquist (1-3--4)

    
Minnetonka Skippers
Last year: 15-12-0
Conference (record): Lake (4-4-0)
Section: 2AA
State trips: 1985, 90, 94, 2006, 10
Home arena: Pagel Activities Center
Head coach: Sean Goldsworthy
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: Chris Wilson, Mike Beach, Justin Green, Tom Stretar, Steve Aronson, Jack Hillen, Mike Johnson
Top returning forwards: Sophomore Bobby Brink (10-20--30), junior Jack Bayless (7-15--22), senior Matt Koethe (6-9--15), senior Joe Molenaar (7-8--15), senior Ryan Elder (5-10--15), senior Luke Loheit (6-7--13)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Grant Docter (5-16--21), senior Andrew Hicks (4-8--12), junior Josh Luedtke (2-9--11)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Charlie Glockner (4-2-0, 2.52, .901)


Moorhead Spuds
Last year: 24-4-3
Conference (record): Mariucci (6-1-0)
Section: 8AA
State trips: 1992, 93, 94, 95, 97, 2001, 02, 03, 04, 05, 09, 11, 12, 13, 17
Home arena: Moorhead Sports Center
Head coach: Jon Amerman
Career record (years): 95-53-7 (6)
Assistant coaches: Derek Thompson, Sam Walstad, Tony Kunka
Letterwinners returning/lost: 15/7
Top returning forwards: Senior Carter Randklev (33-27--60), senior Cole O’Connell (22-31--53), senior Jack Stetz (15-30--45), junior Kyler Kleven (9-15--24), junior Isaac Henkemeyer-Howe (10-9--19)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Parker Larson (4-18--22), junior Ethan Frisch (7-13--20)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Lance Leonard (21-4-3, 1.64, .927)
The coach says: “We return a number of important players from our team last year. Our strength this year will be our depth. We have competition at all positions. If we can focus on getting better each day and replace our senior leadership from last year, we will have a successful season.”


Mounds View Mustangs
Last year: 13-11-2
Conference (record): Suburban East (8-7-1)
Section: 4AA
State trips: 1968, 69, 76, 77, 78
Home arena: Shoreview Ice Arena
Head coach: Adam Schmidt
Career record (years): 41-108-8 (6)
Assistant coaches: Dan DeLisle, Mike Christy, Aaron Steiner, Rob Bovee
Letterwinners returning/lost: 12/8
Top returning forwards: Senior Vann Hartigan (8-14--22), senior Joe Sutton (10-10--20), junior Scott Jiskra (5-10--15), senior Cole Jacobs (5-6--11)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Ryne Mohrman (0-10--10), senior Thomas Yahrmatter (0-8--8)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Nate Severtson (1-2-1, 3.73, .882)
The coach says: “I expect us to compete each night for a full 51 minutes. We have a great group of returning players who have valuable varsity experience. We have great leadership, and some experience up front with quick, strong forwards. We also return a great group of skilled and savvy defensemen. We also have a nice group of sophomores who have experienced some success at the youth level, who will push the upperclassmen for playing time. For us to be successful, we have to be committed to being sound defensively. We have some skilled players that will need to score goals for us. I really like our leadership, and I expect us to compete with anyone.”


New Prague Trojans
Last year: 8-17-2
Conference (record): Wright County (3-7-2)
Section: 2AA
State trips: 2014, 15
Head coach: Chris Lonke
Career record (years): 192-170-11 (14)
Assistant coaches: Chris Morris, Eric Brever, Nick Bowe, Mike Bailey
Top returning forwards: Senior Luke Witt (10-5--15), junior Blake Woodson (5-6--11), junior Frank Ruzicka (1-6--7)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Carter Seymour (2-5--7), junior Bryce Simon (2-2--4), junior Alex Olsson (1-2--3)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Collin Dorzinski (3-10-1, 4.16, .885)

 

North St. Paul Polars
Last year: 14-13-0
Conference (record): Metro East (6-7-0)
Section: 4AA
State trips: 1961, 67, 70, 81
Home arena: Polar Arena
Head coach: Nate Peasley
Career record (years): 18-35-0 (2)
Assistant coaches: Joe Rubbelke, Peter Toy, Neal Carlson
Top returning forwards: Junior Kori Pilarski (25-27--52), senior Joe Reubish (19-29--48), senior Nathan Conroy (9-31--40), senior Austin Vandell (14-13--27)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Kearby Larson (7-20--27), junior Erik Kubiatowicz (2-11--13)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Ben Herman (6-7-0, 3.45, .889), senior Max Rossman (8-6-0, 4.00, .890)


Osseo Orioles
Last year: 1-25-0
Conference (record): Northwest Suburban (1-18-0)
Section: 5AA
State trips: 1994
Home arena: Dick Vraa Memorial Ice Arena
Co-head coaches: Mark Phenow/Kevin Wiley
Career record (years): 84-144-9 (9)
Assistant coaches: Rob Anderson, Justin Turner, Eric Weum
Letterwinners returning/lost: 15/5
Top returning forwards: Junior Mitchell Maier (3-10--13), junior Ty Hill (5-6--11), senior Nate Musial (1-4--5)
Top returning defenseman: Senior Zach Braasch (1-6--7
Top returning goaltender: Senior Ben Kleineschay
The coach says: “We should be much improved this year.  Last year we had a lot of new guys to the varsity level.  We also didn’t have any D with varsity experience. We cycled 12-13 players back there over the year. We have 15 returners coming back this year. The boys have had a solid summer getting bigger and faster. They have put in the work.  We are expecting 55-60 players trying out this year, the most in probably 10 years!  We still need to work on scoring goals this year. We only return 17 goals from last season.”


Owatonna Huskies
Last year: 15-12-0
Conference (record): Big 9 (11-5-0)
Section: 1AA
State trips: 1998
Home arena: Four Seasons Centre
Head coach: Josh Storm
Career record (years): 83-66-9 (7)
Assistant coaches: Chris Goodew, Eric Fink, Paul Martinson, Adam Trautman
Letterwinners returning/lost: 14/6
Top returning forwards: Senior Tyler Wencl (18-15--33), senior Nate Smith (11-6--17), senior Nick Smith (8-5--13)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Mitchell Wiese (4-15--19), senior Walker Nelson (1-1--2)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Jacob Dub (10-10-0, 3.42, .883), senior Ryan Johnson (5-2-0, 2.00, .889)
The coach says: “The Huskies bring a large group of high-end talent back this season. They are very deep at the goaltending position. In addition to strong goaltending, the Huskies return a large chunk of their scoring at both offense and defense. Owatonna, defensive core will be a good mixture of young and old with multiple three-year letter winners at the defensive position.”


Park of Cottage Grove Wolfpack
Last year: 12-13-2
Conference (record): Suburban East (4-11-1)
Section: 3AA
State trips: None
Home arena: Cottage Grove Ice Arena
Head coach: Jay Moser
Assistant coaches: Chris Rudh, Doug Keys, Wayne Kemper, Mike Kielsa, Mike Brings, Jim Robinson
Letterwinners returning/lost: 10/7
Top returning forwards: Senior Keegan Oberding (21-21--42), senior Grant Glazier (18-11--29), senior Zakk Morse (4-14--18), senior Matthew Moreland (10-7--17)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Mason Porter (4-9--13), junior Ryan Lucas (1-10--11)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Luke Mail (9-13-2, 3.64, .869),
The coach says: “We have a solid group of returning players that accounted for the majority of our scoring last year. We will be a little young on the blue line and have two returning goalies. We will be competitive in our conference.”


Prior Lake Lakers
Last year: 17-10-0
Conference (record): South Suburban (14-3-0)
Section: 2AA
State trips: None
Home arena: Dakotah Sports & Fitness
Head coach: Joe Pankratz
Career record (years): 122-88-6 (8)
Assistant coaches: Kevin Ingvalson, Matt Sartor
Letterwinners returning/lost: 9/10
Top returning forwards: Junior Jackson Jutting (11-18--29), senior Preston Underhill (13-6--19), junior Charlie Kashmark (4-5--9)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Jack Kennedy (0-10--10), senior Logan Stokes (1-2--3)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Cade Kujawski (5-5-0, 2.36, .902
The coach says: “The Lakers will return a solid core of players and fill in with skilled, hardworking newcomers. The Lakers will compete for their third straight South Suburban Conference title and be ready for the battle which is Section 2AA.”


Robbinsdale Armstrong/Cooper Wings
Last year: 14-10-2
Conference (record): Northwest Suburban (10-6-2)
Section: 6AA
State trips: 1959 (as Robbinsdale)
Home arena: New Hope Ice Arena
Head coach: Danny Charleston
Career record (years): 48-72-9 (6)
Assistant coaches: Jake Schuman, Mike Phillippi, Ryan King, Ian Murphy
Top returning forwards: Senior Jack Goergen (15-25--40), junior Drew Eid (10-15--25), junior Jonah Jangula (7-10--17)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Bjorn Jensen (0-10--10), senior Brayden Gray (0-7--7), sophomore Joe Campion (0-5--5)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Justin Harding


Rochester Century Panthers
Last year: 14-11-1
Conference (record): Big 9 (11-7-0)
Section: 1AA
State trips: 1945, 46, 47, 48 (as Rochester), 2005, 07, 09
Home arena: Rochester Recreation Center
Head coach: Josh Klingfus
Career record (years): 77-73-8 (6)
Assistant coaches: Doug Zmolek, Peter Moehnke, Adam Broich, Matt Steinmetz, Paul Wennberg
Letterwinners returning/lost: 14/5
Top returning forwards: Senior Nick Aney (13-19--32), senior Ben Haas (14-15--29), junior Skylar Klingfus (12-17--29), senior Jon Thorvilson (12-16--28)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Palmer Michelson (2-6--8), senior Ryan Maiers (3-5--8)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Cole Walter (9-9-1, 2.08, .913), senior Jackson Killinger (5-2-0, 1.91, .907)
The coach says: “The forwards should be the strength of the Century Panthers this season. We will look for them to play strong defense and support our defensemen and goalie. With having over 20 returning seniors, I see this team as being close on and off the ice and that hopefully contributes to a successful season.”


Rochester John Marshall Rockets
Last year: 10-15-1
Conference (record): Big 9 (8-6-1)
Section: 1AA
State trips: 1945, 46, 47, 48 (as Rochester), 1977 Champs, 78, 79, 88, 89, 96
Home arena: Rochester Recreation Center
Head coach: Jay Ness
Career record (years): 151-88-7 (9)
Assistant coaches: Matt Erredge, Ryan Yetzer, Tom Lovett
Top returning forwards: Senior Nick Hackman (21-8--29), junior Max Jones (7-2--9), senior Erik Peterson (1-2--3), senior Carter Reed (2-0--2)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Nick Ness (8-15--23), senior Daylon Wolesky (0-12--12)
The coach says: “We lost a lot of leadership to graduation, so there are big shoes to fill. We’ll have a good mix of returning playmakers and incoming contributors to define our season.”
      

Rochester Mayo Spartans
Last year: 4-22-0
Conference (record): Big 9 (3-12-0)
Section: 1AA
State trips: 1945, 46, 47, 48 (as Rochester), 82, 92, 94, 95, 97, 99, 2000
Home arena: Graham Arena
Head coach: Todd Huyber
Career record (years): 4-22-0 (1)
Assistant coaches: Matt Alexander, Matt Notermann, Ron Moffitt
Letterwinners returning/lost: 15/3
Top returning forwards: Junior Zachary Stewart (2-12--14), senior Sam Warren (7-5--12), junior Jack Holtan (7-3--10)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Jared Dingle (0-7--7), senior Jordan Dingle (3-2--5), senior Jason Martin (1-4--5)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Liam Claton, Jacob Gathje
The coach says: “The expectation is to continue to improve and compete for the conference and section title. The team should have a good balance of veteran players at all positions. Goaltending is key. Liam Claton and Jacob Gathje are a great duo to have.  The def corps is a solid group of veterans starting with Jason Martin , Jordan Dingle, Andrew Cramer, Jared Dingle and Alex Norby all with the ability to help at both ends of the rink which will be key. Forwards Zach Stewart, Jack Holtan, Lyke Moger, Ian Mcbane, John Pittock and a host of other underclassmen that really developed in the second half of last season will be counted on up front to create offense.”


Rogers Royals
Last year: 13-12-1
Conference (record): Mississippi 8 (7-4-1)
Section: 8AA
State trips: None
Home arena: Rogers Activity Center
Head coach: Todd Weisjahn
Career record (years): 130-127-10 (23)
Assistant coaches: Al Bistodeau, Cory Thorson, Sam Illgen, Dirk Udee
Letterwinners returning/lost: 7/11
Top returning forwards: Junior Justin Grudem (14-10--24), senior Michael VanStelten (7-7--14)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Mitchell Becker (5-12--17), senior David Bauer (3-9--12), junior Nate Thelen (3-6--9)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Nate Johnston (1-0-0, 0.85, .952)
The coach says: “This team has potential to do some really good things on the ice this season. We return some core defensemen and forwards who made great contributions last season and the expectation is that they will come into the season ready to take the next step. Nate Johnston returns in the nets after making two varsity appearances last season. He backstopped the JV team in 2016-17. A key to the team’s success will be the ability to come together and play together. We will have a strong leadership core getting them to build trust in their teammates.”


Roseau Rams
Last year: 18-10-0
Conference (record): Mariucci (7-4-0)
Section: 8AA
State trips: 1946 Champs, 47, 53, 55, 57, 58 Champs, 59 Champs, 61 Champs, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 71, 75, 77, 78, 79, 81, 83, 84, 90 Champs, 91, 98, 99 Champs, 2000, 06, 07 Champs, 08, 10, 14
Head coach: Andy Lundbohm
Career record (years): 132-84-6 (8)
Assistant coaches: Jake Mack, Jared Gustafson, Kurt Weston, Allen Grugal
Letterwinners returning/lost: 13/11
Top returning forwards: Senior Alex Verbout (19-18--37), senior Nathan Adrian (18-13--31), junior Aaron Huglen (8-16--24), sophomore Hanson O’Leary (8-13--21)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Jonah Huglen (3-14--17), senior Nick Geroy (3-14--17)
The coach says: “Our expectations will be to have a competitive team in what we feel is a deep Section 8AA. Our strength is in our depth up front. We have a number of players who contributed a lot on offense coming back this year. We also feel like with three returning seniors on defense we should be strong on the back side. Our goalie position should be strong as we lose both of our varsity goalies but our main contender for the starting spot had a very good JV season and has done very well throughout his youth levels.”


Rosemount Irish
Last year: 11-14-1
Conference (record): South Suburban (6-12-0)
Section: 3AA
State trips: 1992
Home arena: Rosemount Community Center
Head coach: Rick Saintey
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: Dan Ubl, Todd Karich, Kyle Finn, Rick Saintey, Sr.
Top returning forwards: Senior Grant Horsager (9-15--24), junior Tyler Linnerooth (8-4--12), junior Jackson Sabo (3-8--11), senior Griffin Jagoe (4-5--9)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Noah Berg (2-4--6), sophomore Mason Wheeler (1-5--6), junior Max Carter (1-5--6)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Ben Garrity (7-9-0, 3.06, .897)


Roseville Area Raiders
Last year: 8-17-1
Conference (record): Suburban East (4-11-1)
Section: 4AA
State trips: 1987, 2002, 03
Home arena: Roseville Skating Center
Head coach: Ryan Adams
Career record (years): 43-32-4 (3)
Assistant coaches: Garrett Windle, Josh Shingler, Brennan Poderzay, Matt Hall
Top returning forwards: Senior Blake Haselberger (7-7--14), junior Adam King (5-6--11), senior Michael Tschida (3-5--8), senior John Tschida (2-6--8), junior Carver Martin (3-5--8)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Matt Leahy (5-6--11), senior Cody Barrett (2-6--8)


Shakopee Sabers
Last year: 6-19-1
Conference (record): South Suburban (0-15-0)
Section: 2AA
State trips: 2005
Home arena: Shakopee Ice Arena
Head coach: Ed Loiselle
Assistant coaches: Jeff Weber, John Haglund, Phil Lundberg
Letterwinners returning/lost: 12/11
Top returning forwards: Senior Evan Holm (9-3--12), junior Austin McNeil (2-3--5), senior Noah Schuhmacher (2-3--5)
Top returning defenseman: Senior Mason Bode (2-1--3)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Cole Geyen (0-3-0, 3.93, .843), senior Cole Broome
The coach says: “It will be an exciting year with the new rink and the training facilities. The process of building a culture of  hard work is moving forward and we will take a big step this season. Players put a lot of time at our new facility and it has paid off. The strength of our team will be a senior class who is committed to playing a constant team game. We have veterans in goal who will provide stability and great leadership from our senior class. ”


Spring Lake Park Panthers
Last year: 9-17-0
Conference (record): North Suburban (5-13-0)
Section: 5AA
State trips: 2015
Home arena: Fogerty Arena
Head coach: Scott Steffen
Career record (years): 16-10-0 (1))
Assistant coaches: Chad Rasmussen, Rob Loftus, Tom Stumph
Top returning forwards: Junior Creighton McMahon (18-13--31), senior Mickey Zeller (11-12--23), junior Sam Fritz (7-7--14), junior Zach Zemlicka (3-10--13), junior Derric Bergman (4-8--12)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Cade McMahon (1-9--10), senior Jack McKusick (2-6--8), senior Nathan Miller (1-3--4)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Steven Lastovich (2-6-0, 4.76, .853) 


St. Cloud
Last year: 15-8-2
Conference (record): Central Lakes (9-2-2))
Section: 8AA
State trips: Apollo - 1984, 2013, 15; Tech - 1945, 46, 47, 48, 50, 51, 52
Home arena: St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex
Head coach: Pete Matanich
Career record (years): 118-93-6 (8)
Assistant coaches: Corey Robinson, Dan Lahr, Paul Kenney
Top returning forwards: Senior Nick Portz (24-21--45), senior Brad Amundson (14-27--41), senior Noah Bissett (18-15--33), senior Carter Rieland (15-15--30), 
Top returning defensemen: Senior Lars Olson (1-18--19), senior Casey Hormann (0-6--6), senior Drew Bulson (0-6--6), senior Sam Rud (1-4--5)
Top returning goaltenders: Junior Soren Falloon (13-7-2, 2.46, .880), senior Ryan Staudinger (2-1-0, 3.29, .804)


St. Francis Fighting Saints
Last year: 9-17-0
Conference (record): Mississippi 8 (4-8-0)
Section: 7AA
State trips: None
Home arena: East Bethel Ice Arena
Head coach: Tyler Schaff
Career record (years): 63-117-5 (7)
Assistant coaches:  Brad Marlowe, Brock Libby, Cory Denney
Letterwinners returning/lost: 10/11
Top returning forward: Senior Reese Kaehler (11-27--38)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Cole Linson (7-11--18), junior Cody Kolb (2-4--6), senior Eric Maroney (3-3--6)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Nolan Garaghty (8-17-0, 4.86, .836), freshman Matthew Powell (1-0-0, 4.10, .815)
The coach says: “Our program motto is, ‘Driven to Succeed.’ The members of our program sacrifice for the teammate beside them and are driven to propel our program to new-found levels of success. We will focus on making it difficult for the opponent to score while also looking to put the puck in the net with quick transition odd-man rushes. The focus of our program has been to defend our net and our defensive zone with intensity and selfless sacrifice. In turn, we are looking to add some additional excitement to our program by producing turnovers and scoring transition goals. We return many varsity letterwinners who are determined to take the next step in our program’s development.  We have a core of seniors (10) and underclassmen who will compete for varsity spots. Our defensive core will be led by Cody Kolb and Dylan Demarais who return with multiple years of varsity experience. We will also have newcomers Dayne Mann, Nathan Roberts, and Jordan Haller fighting for varsity time. At forward, we look to improve upon our goalscoring ability and will rely heavily on Reese Kaehler and Cole Linson to improve upon their 2016-17 season. Eric Maroney and Myles Westbrook are two players who can play both forward and defenseman, thus being valuable members of our team.  We also have multipl  first-year forwards who look to have an impact at the arsity level; Matt DeKanick, Gunnar Grams, Ike Hassel, Cody Strate and Dylan Strate. We also return a veteran goaltender in Nolan Garaghty and will rely on his experience in the net. Caleb Young will look to fight for some varsity time as well. Overall, a selfless approach to a team atmosphere has been the cornerstone of our program’s improvement and will be the key to our continued success.”


St. Louis Park Orioles
Last year: 18-8-1
Conference (record): Metro West (5-3-1)
Section: 6AA
State trips: 1948, 49, 53, 58, 98, 2003
Home arena: St. Louis Park Rec Center
Head coach: Colin Hohman
Assistant coaches: Neil Greenbush, Andy Sackrison, Dan Batdorf, Chris Dahlin, Jon Zitur 
Top returning forwards: Senior Luke Mobley (18-25--43), senior Jonathan Sorenson (24-19--43), senior Willy Basill (13-6--19), senior Brenton Ryan (5-12--17)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Riley Dvorak (5-12--17), senior Shea Pekarek (2-12--14), senior Blake Neudecker (2-5--7)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Atticus Raasch (11-5-1, 2.92, .905), sophomore William Pinney (7-3-0, 2.41, .903)


St. Michael-Albertville Knights
Last year: 20-5-2
Conference (record): Mississippi 8 (9-1-0)
Section: 8AA
State trips: None
Home arena: St. Michael-Albertville Arena
Head coach: Jerr Johnson
Career record (years): 174-132-13 (12)
Assistant coaches: Jason Johnson, Joe Goth, Ben Monahan, Sean Fish, Jon Foucault
Letterwinners returning/lost: 13/7
Top returning forwards: Senior Blake Spetz (14-21--35), senior Jordan Drobinski (13-17--30), sophomore Luc Laylin (5-18--23), senior Caden Sigerud (7-12--19)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Garrett Sandberg (8-10--18), senior Cole Lehmann (2-11--13), sophomore Cody Kelly (1-10--11)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Justin Damon (1-0-0, 0.50, .944)
The coach says: “We expect to be one of the top teams in Section 8AA and the Mississippi 8. Our strength will be returning 13 players who lettered last year and our senior leaders. Our top two scorers, seniors Blake Spetz and Jordan Drobinski return along with sophomore Luc Laylin who was fourth on our team in scoring and sophomore, Adam Flammang, who led the team in goals. In addition, we have five defensemen, seniors Garrett Sandberg, Cole Lehmann, Val Popowski, Brady Berning, and sophomore Cody Kelly returning who all played important roles last season.”


St. Thomas Academy Cadets
Last year: 25-5-1
Conference (record): Metro East (9-2-0)
Section: 3AA
State trips: 1999, 2005, 06 Champs, 07, 08 Champs, 11 Champs, 12 Champs, 13 Champs, 15, 17
Home arena: St. Thomas Ice Arena
Co-head coaches: Tom Vannelli, Greg Vannelli
Career record (years): 387-116-18 (18)
Assistant coaches: Mike Vannelli, Rob Vannelli, Greg Monahan, Aaron Hoiland, Mark McKasy, Joe Vannelli, Andrew Commers
Top returning forwards: Senior Ray Christy (17-30--47), junior Rob Christy (17-23--40), senior  Payton Matsui (21-14--35), junior Brendan McFadden (12-18--30), senior Chase Foley (9-20--29)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Blake Holmes (9-12--19), junior Tommy Winges (5-4--9)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Atticus Kelly (15-3-1, 1.22, .932)


Stillwater Area Ponies
Last year: 24-4-0
Conference: Suburban East (15-1-0)
Section: 4AA
State trips: 2014, 16
Home arena: St. Croix Recreation Center
Head coach: Matt Doman
Career record (years): 86-28-3 (4)
Assistant coaches: Paul Benson, Rick Thomas, Pete Hamilton, Scott Bjugstad
Top returning forwards: Junior Adam Eisele (4-2--6), senior Josh Long (1-3--4), senior Logan Huber (0-3--3)
Top returning defenseman: Junior Joe Raleigh (2-9--11)
Top returning goaltender: Junior Jesse Brown (2-0-0, 2.50, .894)


Tartan Titans
Last year: 17-8-2
Conference (record): Metro East (8-4-1)
Section: 4AA
State trips: 2004, 05
Home arena: Tartan Arena
Head coach: Cole Leitch
Career record (years): First season
Assistant coaches: Chad Remackle, Chris Thompson, Bob Tallerico, Tim Tasler
Letterwinners returning/lost: 6/14
Top returning forwards: Senior Justin Thompson (6-14--20), senior Nick Bowlin (8-10--18), senior Grant McDonald (3-4--7)
Top returning defensemen: Junior Jake Betz (5-2--7), junior Derek Olssen (0-4--4), senior Caleb McDonald (2-1--3)
Top returning goaltenders: Senior Bennett Poganski (11-7-2, 3.12, .898), senior Joey DiMartino (6-1-0, 2.00, .907)
The coach says: “Survive, new coach, new staff, young team. The strengths of our team will be our goaltending, our D-men and our relentless effort. The keys for us on having a successful season will depend on our seniors and having our younger guys step up to be solid contributors.”


Wayzata Trojans
Last year: 11-19-1
Conference (record): Lake (2-6-0)
Section: 6AA
State trips: 1954, 2004, 13, 16 Champs, 17
Home arena: Plymouth Ice Center
Head coach: Pat O’Leary
Career record (years): 102-58-6 (6)
Assistant coaches: Bill Rooney, David Brown, Case Paxton, Derek Olson
Letterwinners returning/lost: 14/6
Top returning forwards: Senior Griffin Ness (13-15--28), senior Colin Schmidt (11-15--26), sophomore Ryan Mulrenin (7-4--11), junior Joel Matthews (3-7--10)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Grant Anderson (7-17--24), junior Tommy Bergsland (3-2--5), senior Tyler Dingmann (1-4--5)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Sawyer Anderson (6-4-0, 2.19, .890)
The coach says: “We will be returning some key players at forward and defense. We will be a senior-heavy team, led by our three captains that have played in two state tournaments. We will need to get five to eight players acclimated in playing regular shifts at the varsity level.”


White Bear Lake Bears
Last year: 14-8-4
Conference (record): Suburban East (11-4-1)
Section: 4AA
State trips: 1945, 46, 49, 51, 56, 66, 67, 70, 82, 89, 90, 94, 95, 96, 98, 2001, 03, 05, 11
Home arena: Vadnais Sports Center
Head coach: Tim Sager
Career record (years): 268-128-20 (16)
Assistant coach: Chris Anderson, Ben Nelson
Letterwinners returning/lost: 16/9
Top returning forwards: Senior Chase Hamstad (15-27--42), senior Max Jennrich (21-15--36), senior Austin Carroll (9-23--32)
The coach says: “The expectations for the Bears this year is to improve every day and focus on the process. We graduated some key players but return a healthy class that are determined to get better every day.  We’ll be solid up-front and big and strong in the back. Complementing our veteran group will be some young talented players from the state tournament championship team at the AA Bantams. ”


Woodbury Royals
Last year: 15-11-1
Conference (record): Suburban East (8-8-0)
Section: 4AA
State trips: 2007, 08
Home arena: Bielenberg Ice Arena
Head coach: Wes Bolin
Career record (years): 475-324-41 (34)
Assistant coaches: Mike Tollefsbol, Daren Messmore, Scott Lashomb
Letterwinners returning/lost: 6/13
Top returning forwards: Senior Kurri Anderson (6-12--18), junior Zach Lanz (4-3--7)
Top returning defensemen: Senior Spencer Nelson (3-6--9), junior Brad Mauder (0-7--7), senior Luke Swenson (0-2--2)
Top returning goaltender: Senior Jack Horman (1-1-0, 3.40, .805)
The coach says: “Three solid defensemen returning and competition in goal should help us keep scores/shots down until forwards gain more experience. There will be a little bit of a rebuild after graduating such a strong class of seniors, but looking forward to the depth of the incoming sophomore class (25)”

 

Photo: Tim Kolehmainen

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