With the 2020-2021 season only months away, we thought it’s time to showcase the real heroes that keep Goalies sane and Forwards in check. Here is the top Defensemen to watch for this year from each team in Section 5AA.
– Blaine #14
Starting out this list is a name that more people should get used to, especially if Blaine makes the leap into the State Tournament this year. Finn led all Bengals defensemen in points last season with 27 (1G, 26A) as only a Sophomore. He’s got good size already and is still growing. Already he’s gaining the attention of scouts, as he was drafted by the Sioux City Musketeers in the 7th round, #96 overall in the 2020 USHL futures draft.
– Maple Grove #12
Next is a player who’s more well known, and for good reason. Henry led all Maple Grove skaters in points last season with 36 (11G, 25A). He was a huge part of the Crimson making it past Blaine to win the Section 5AA title and a trip to the Xcel Energy Center. Committed to Notre Dame for the 2021-2022 season, the State of Hockey has one final year to watch this young phenom before he takes on new heights in the NCAA.
– Centennial #14
Here’s another player that looks poised to jump to the next level, AJ Lemire. AJ led all Centennial defensemen in points last season with 16 (2G, 14A). He’s been voted the team captain for this coming season and is already developing his offensive game, as he doubled his scoring output from 8 points his sophomore season. Look for AJ to take more shots and continue to impress with his vision on the ice in 2021.
– Totino-Grace #9
The biggest player on this list, Parker made the transition from a tough season for Holy Family in 2019 (OG, 2A) to showing out for Totino-Grace. He led the Eagles defensemen in scoring with 22 points (4G, 18A) and was a big reason that Totino made it to the second round of sections and almost upset Blaine in the 5AA Semi-Finals. His senior season is going to be fun to watch, especially if he can develop his shot a little more on the powerplay.
– Champlin Park #5
Don’t sleep on his size,can play and was a huge bright spot for Champlin Park this year. He led all Rebels defensemen in points with 13 (2G, 11A) as a Sophmore. Even more impressive, both his goals were late-game powerplay winners against Duluth East and Champlin Park. Watch for this young D-man to blow up in the years to come.
– Osseo #8
Osseo had an up and down season, but Holien was as consistent as they come. He led all Oriole defenseman with 18 points (4G, 14a) including a 2 goal game to help secure a victory vs International Falls. Matt is another player that took a major leap last season in scoring, as he went from only 3 points as a Sophmore to leading Osseo’s powerplay from the blue line in 2020.
– Spring Lake Park #2
It’s easy to be overlooked when your team struggles like Spring Lake Park did last season, but that wasn’t the case for. Ben led all panthers defensemen with 15 points (4G, 11A) in his first year of high school hockey. He’s already got size as a Sophmore and has the handles of a forward when he skates up. Look for him to continue to anchor the powerplay for Spring Lake Park in 2021.
– Coon Rapids #10
Coon Rapids had the worst season of any team on this list, scoring only 36 goals to their opponents 157. Despite a lot of rough outcomes, Jake still had a respectable season and was 3rd on the team in points with 8 and tied for the lead in scoring with 4 goals. He’s already committed to Winona State to play Quarterback in 2021-2022, but if that ever goes south he could help any team from the blue line.