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 in to games when they start again in the fall. That being said, here is my list of players to watch in Section 4A and my “way too early” playoff prediction.
– Mahtomedi – Jr. Goalie
Ben Dardis led the Zephyrs to a state title last season. He finished his sophomore season with incredible numbers. He ended the regular season with a .928 save percentage after playing in every single game and logging 1,250 minutes. In 6 playoff games, he only let in 7 goals. Compared to other goaltenders in the state, Dardis finished top 10 in wins and save percentage. He also tied for second in the state with 6 shutouts in the regular season. Coming into his junior year, Ben is going to have some high expectations and I can imagine Mahtomedi is going to be playing with a lot of confidence with him between the pipes.
– Gentry Academy – Sr. Forward
Going into his senior year, Damon has led the section in scoring for the past two seasons. He has scored 60+ points both his sophomore and junior years. He has held a very even stat line both years after tallying around 30 goals and 30 assists each season. There were only 7 games last year where he didn’t net a goal and only 3 games where he didn’t have at least one point. He also recorded 3 hat tricks last season. Furuseth is yet another kid that loves scoring goals and he is going to be hungry for more going into his final high school season.
Barrett Hall – Gentry Academy – Jr. Forward
After two seasons under his belt, Barrett already has 93 career points. His freshman year he recorded 14 goals and 24 assists. Then he proved the sophomore slump is a myth by netting 24 goals and tallying 31 assists. He finished second in the section in points last season and tied for first with his Gentry teammate (Furuseth) in assists. The Stars are going to be a very difficult team to play against this year with the scoring power these two have, as well as production from senior defenseman Brevan Grigus (15G, 19A). Not to mention the returning of senior goaltender Alex Timmons who went undefeated last season finishing 14-0.
Adam Johnson – Mahtomedi – Sr. Forward
Adam is another big reason the Zephyrs won a title last season. He had a breakout year after scoring 13 goals and 29 assists for a total of 42 points. That posted him at third in the section in scoring. Also, in his 6 playoff games, he scored 4 goals and assisted on 3 more. Johnson is the the squads top play-maker after having an assist in at least 19 games last season. Mahtomedi has the goaltender in Dardis, they also have the scoring power between Johnson and senior forward Ethan Peterson (7G, 26A). Possible repeat?
– St. Paul Johnson – Sr. Forward
The coolest hockey name I have came across thus far. Blayde is going into his fourth year of high school hockey and this is another kid that just loves scoring goals. In his sophomore and junior season he played a total of 48 regular season games and he has 48 goals. He also has a career total of 92 points so he should have no problem getting to that 100 milestone. Aside from Pogreba, the Governors are returning with a lot more scoring power from senior forwards Joey Moberg (15G, 19A) and Teddy Wilebski (10G, 20A). That top line is going to be a goalies worst nightmare.
Section 4A final prediction: Gentry Academy vs. Mahtomedi. Both teams have the goalies, both teams have the fire power. It’s going to be a very intense game but I have to go with the Zephyrs purely based on their playoff experience. 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.