It’s never too early to start making predictions and preparing to watch Minnesota High School Hockey. Focusing on players to watch will make it exciting to tune into games when they start again in the fall. That being said here is my list of players to watch in Section 1A and my way to early playoff prediction.
Brody Lamb – Dodge County – Jr. Forward
Brody is walking into his junior season with high expectations by managing to score a state-leading 46 goals in just 22 games. He also assisted on 20 of his team’s goals last year landing him 11th in the state in total points with 66, which puts him at an impressive 3 points per game average. In just his third career game, he scored 6 goals in a 7-5 win. He is even more dangerous at the end of the year as he netted 9 consecutive multi-goal games to finish the regular season. Watch out section 1A, because this kid LOVES scoring goals.
Layten Liffrig – Mankato East/Loyola – Sr. Forward
Coming into his senior year Layten already has over 100 points in his past three seasons. Last year, he finished with 74 points, including the postseason. Layten led the cougars to a state tournament appearance with his exceptional playmaking ability. He finished the section playoffs with 2 goals and 7 assists in just 3 games. Under his leadership, the cougars have a great opportunity to get back to the X in 2021.
Zach Siegert – Faribault – Sr. Forward
After only playing in about half the games in his sophomore season, Zach came out flying his junior year. He played in every single game and average a goal per game. He also managed to dish out 15 apples for a total of 40 points on the season. Out of 25 games, Zach had 15 multi-point games. One of those games, he contributed to all five goals in a 5-3 win against Albert Lea. In his career, he has a grand total of 68 points. I will not be surprised if we see him surpass 100 in his senior bout.
Brett Borchardt – Mankato East/Loyola – Sr. Defense
Last season, Brett led the entire section in points for a defenseman as a junior. That is why he is going to be a great player to watch next season. He ended the season with 6 goals and 25 assists in 24 games played. Having someone that averages an assist per game is exactly what you want in an offensive defenseman. With two other cougar defensemen (Jake Schnieder and Jake Kazenbach) averaging a point per game, they are gonna be tough D core to face.
Caleb Cross – Mankato West – Sr. Goalie
Mankato West came into sections as the #2 seed, and Caleb Cross is a big reason for that. He played a whopping 1,270 minutes between the pipes last season making 523 saves. Including the playoffs, he ended the season with a .905 save percentage and a 2.26 GAA. He also recorded 4 shutouts on the year. With him in the net, the duo of Brandon Swenson & Gavin Brunmeier upfront, and Wyatt Foulds holding down the blue line, the Scarlets have an excellent opportunity to go deep in the playoffs next season.
I strongly believe we might see another legendary battle of Mankato for the section championship game next season! Thanks for reading and stay tuned because as the summer goes on I will be doing “players to watch” for every section in the state of Minnesota.