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Ranking the best high school teams of the “modern era”

03/07/2018, 9:15am CST
By Let's Play Hockey

What Minnesota Class AA and Class A boys’ hockey programs are truly the best, according to each season’s final rankings?

Minnetonka, Edina and Duluth East have all owned the No. 1 ranking in boys’ Class AA hockey at some point during the 2017-18 season. Those three programs are among the favorites to head to the Xcel Energy Center this week in hopes of raising the state championship trophy on Saturday night. Meanwhile, on the Class A side, two-time defending state champion Hermantown has owned the No. 1 spot rankings for the majority of the 2017-18 season. 

But what Minnesota Class AA and Class A boys’ hockey programs are truly the best, according to each season’s final rankings? To determine the top teams, we looked at the final top 20, beginning with the 1993-94 season – the year the Minnesota State High School League established Class A and AA – and awarded 20 points for a team finishing No. 1, 19 points for No. 2, and so on. Those points for all seasons were then added together.

The results? In Class AA, Northern Minnesota power Duluth East takes the top spot over top Twin Cities’ programs Hill-Murray and Edina for first place in our “modern era” rankings. In Class A,Twin Cities private school Breck owns No. 1, followed by Northern Minnesota powers Warroad and Hermantown.

CLASS AA NOTES: 66 teams have been included in the final rankings since 1994 • 11 teams in the Class AA rankings below are currently in Class A • the top 10 includes eight public schools and two private schools • Duluth East and Moorhead are the only Northern Minnesota teams in the top 10 • Duluth East and Hill-Murray are the only schools to appear in all 24 final rankings • five schools have appeared in the final rankings 20 or more times since 1994 – Duluth East, Hill-Murray, Edina, Eden Prairie, Elk River • based on the rankings, Cretin-Derham Hall’s 2006 state title was the largest outlier as the Raiders have appeared in the final rankings only seven times since 1994, with an average ranking of 13 • Edina ranks first in Class AA state titles (4) and average final ranking (6)

CLASS A NOTES: 77 teams have been included in the final rankings since 1994 • 16 teams in the Class A rankings below are currently in Class AA • the top 10 is split evenly between public and private school teams, and Twin Cities and Northern Minnesota teams • Breck is the only school to appear in all 24 final rankings • five schools have appeared in the final rankings 20 or more times since 1994 – Breck, Warroad, Hermantown, Blake and Totino-Grace • based on the rankings, Eveleth’s 1998 state title was the largest outlier as the Golden Bears have appeared in the final rankings only five times since 1994, with an average ranking of 10.8 • though now in Class AA, St. Thomas Academy ranks first in Class A state titles (5) and average final ranking (3.3)


According to each season’s final rankings, Duluth East is the top Class AA boys’ hockey program in the “modern era.”

Top Minnesota Class AA boys’ hockey programs (1994-2017)

RANK TEAM APP. IN FINAL TOP 20 STATE TITLES AVG. FINAL RANK POINTS
1 Duluth East 24 2 6.42 350
2 Hill-Murray 24 1 8.29 305
3 Edina 20 4 6 300
4 Eden Prairie 22 2 8.18 282
5 Moorhead 19 0 8.37 240
6 Elk River 21 1 8.95 232
7 Bloomington Jefferson 19 1 9.42 220
8 Blaine 17 1 9.06 213
9 White Bear Lake 18 0 11.7 167
10 Holy Angels 12 2 7.17 166
11 Minnetonka 14 0 9.5 161
12 Wayzata 15 1 11.3 145
13 Grand Rapids 13 1 9.92 144
14 Roseau 11 2 9.09 131
15 Centennial 13 1 11.2 128
16 Apple Valley 12 1 10.4 127
17 Benilde-St. Margaret's 10 1 9.4 116
Burnsville 15 0 13.3 116
19 Maple Grove 9 0 11 90
20 Hastings 7 0 8.43 88
21 Eagan 8 0 10.4 85
22 Cloquet 12 0 14 84
23 Roseville 8 0 10.9 81
24 Anoka 8 1 11.3 78
25 Lakeville North 6 1 10.3 64
26 Osseo 9 0 14.3 60
Rochester Mayo 7 0 12.4 60
27 Greenway 7 0 12.6 59
28 Cretin-Derham Hall 7 1 13 56
29 Eastview 6 0 12.3 52
30 St. Thomas Academy 5 0 11 50
31 Bemidji 4 0 12.8 43
32 Holy Family 5 0 12.6 42
Lakeville 5 0 12.6 42
34 South St. Paul 3 0 8 39
35 Lakeville South 3 0 9.67 34
36 Stillwater 3 0 10.7 31
37 Woodbury 4 0 13.8 29
38 Hibbing/Chisholm 2 0 8 26
39 Rochester Century 2 0 8.5 25
St. Paul Johnson 2 0 8.5 25
41 Alexandria 3 0 13.7 22
Robbinsdale Armstrong 2 0 10 22
43 Tartan 2 0 10.5 21
44 Prior Lake 4 0 16.3 19
Rosemount 2 0 11.5 19
St. Cloud Apollo 5 0 17.2 19
47 Andover 3 0 16.3 14
48 Brainerd 4 0 17.8 13
49 Hopkins 3 0 17.3 11
Park Center 2 0 15.5 11
51 Farmington 2 0 16 10
Rochester John Marshall 2 0 16 10
St. Cloud Tech 1 0 11 10
54 Coon Rapids 1 0 12 9
Duluth Denfeld 1 0 12 9
56 Albert Lea 1 0 13 8
Champlin Park 1 0 13 8
58 North St. Paul 1 0 14 7
59 Buffalo 1 0 15 6
Henry Sibley 1 0 15 6
61 Forest Lake 2 0 18.5 5
62 Austin 1 0 17 4
Bloomington Kennedy 1 0 17 4
64 Owatonna 1 0 18 3
65 Park Cottage Grove 1 0 19 2
66 St. Michael-Albertville 1 0 20 1

Top Minnesota Class A boys’ hockey programs (1994-2017)

RANK TEAM APP. IN FINAL TOP 20 STATE TITLES AVG. FINAL RANK POINTS
1 Breck 24 4 7.04 335
2 Warroad 21 4 5.71 321
3 Hermantown 20 3 5.55 309
4 Blake 21 0 8.95 253
5 Totino-Grace 21 1 10 231
6 Mahtomedi 19 0 9.84 212
7 Duluth Marshall 17 0 9.47 196
8 East Grand Forks 16 2 8.94 193
9 Thief River Falls 17 0 9.94 188
10 St. Thomas Academy 10 5 3.3 177
11 Hibbing/Chisholm 17 0 10.8 173
12 Rochester Lourdes 14 0 9.29 164
13 St. Cloud Cathedral 15 0 10.5 158
14 Red Wing 13 1 8.92 157
15 Orono 12 0 11.5 114
16 International Falls 10 1 10.6 104
17 Fergus Falls 10 0 10.9 101
18 Beniilde-St. Margaret's 8 2 8.5 100
19 Little Falls 8 0 10.1 87
20 St. Louis Park 8 0 12.1 71
Virginia 9 0 13.1 71
22 Lake of the Woods 7 0 11.1 69
23 Delano 7 0 11.3 68
24 Roseau 4 0 6.5 58
Duluth Denfeld 7 0 12.7 58
26 Alexandria 5 0 10.2 54
27 Hutchinson 7 0 13.6 52
28 Eveleth 5 1 10.8 51
Northfield 6 0 12.5 51
30 South St. Paul 4 0 9.25 47
St. Paul Academy 4 0 9.25 47
32 Greenway 4 0 10.3 43
33 New Prague 7 0 15 42
34 Simley 3 0 7.67 40
35 Mankato West 3 0 8.67 37
Litchfield 4 0 11.8 37
37 Albert Lea 4 0 12 36
38 St. Cloud Apollo 3 0 10 33
Mound Westonka 5 0 14.4 33
40 Detroit Lakes 5 0 14.6 32
Sauk Rapids 5 0 14.6 32
42 Sartell-St. Stephen 4 0 13.3 31
43 Princeton 3 0 11.3 29
44 Silver Bay 5 0 15.6 27
45 Farmington 3 0 12.7 25
Mora 3 0 12.7 25
47 Proctor 2 0 10 22
48 Monticello/A/ML 1 0 2 19
49 Holy Angels 2 0 12 18
50 Shakopee 4 0 16.7 17
51 Minneapolis Edison 1 0 6 15
52 Duluth Central 1 0 9 12
Crookston 2 0 15 12
Faribault 2 0 15 12
Spring Lake Park 3 0 17 12
56 Mesabi East 1 0 10 11
57 Luverne 4 0 18.3 10
Chaska 2 0 16 10
Wadena 2 0 16 10
Rogers 3 0 17.7 10
61 Minnehaha Academy 2 0 16.5 9
62 St. Paul Johnson 1 0 7 7
Chisago Lakes 1 0 14 7
Minneapolis 2 0 17.5 7
Red Lake Falls 2 0 17.5 7
66 Minneapolis South 1 0 15 6
Park Rapids 2 0 18 6
68 Centennial 1 0 16 5
New Ulm 2 0 18.5 5
70 LeSueur 1 0 19 2
71 Bloomington Kennedy 1 0 20 1
Mankato East 1 0 20 1
Minneapolis Washburn 1 0 20 1
North Shore 1 0 20 1
Pine City 1 0 20 1
Richfield 1 0 20 1

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Tag(s): State Of Hockey  News  HS Boys