Prep Hockey just updated our Junior class rankings and featured a ton of players from many different teams across the whole state. In this article, we delve into who is the top five forwards in this class, and what they did to get ranked that high. All of these five forwards featured today are committed to a D1 school and are for sure playing hockey after high school. Let’s get right into it.
is our clear number one ranked forward in the class of 2023. Plante hit the ground running fast in his sophomore year for the Hawks. Last season he finished with an eye-opening 61 points in 20 games. With those 61 points, he had 29 goals and 32 assists. Plante has been out for a couple of months now, with a shoulder injury he suffered against Wayzata. In the seven games, he played this season- he had 4 goals and 2 assists for 6 points. Plante recently got ranked as the 40th best North American prospect for the upcoming NHL draft. It is very very possible that he gets his name called this upcoming summer. With Plante missing half the high school season maybe he comes back for his senior year. Regardless of the NHL draft, he will most likely play at UMD for a year or two. His speed, scoring, and playmaking ability as a forward make him a very intriguing prospect at the next level.
The next best forward in this class is also a UMD commit and ’A’ player. Shaugabay started for Warroad his freshman year and hit an astonishing 51 points. He went and improved that in his sophomore year and in fewer games played he hit 53 points. Now in his junior year, he is on pace to hit over 60 points this season. Shaugabay has made the high school elite league two times so far in his high school career, and he has 14 and 19 points in his two stints in that league. This season, Shaugabay currently has 29 assists and is 3rd in the state in that category. If Jayson returns to high school next year, he has a really good chance at hitting the rare 200-point milestone. Shaugabay is one of the most elite playmaking forwards this state has ever seen.
The third-ranked forward in our rankings is. He has been committed to UNO before high school even started. Tanner started in high school for the Cougars as a freshman, where he totaled 14 points in 25 games. His sophomore year last year he broke out, where he totaled 50 points in 23 games with 16 goals and 34 assists. So far this season, Tanner has 7 goals and 17 assists for 24 total points in just 11 games played. This summer before his junior high school season, he went down to Lincoln and played for the USHL team. He appeared in 11 games and had no points. Ludtke is also a very good playmaker, like Shaugabay. Ludtke plays against a lot harder competition than him though. There is a good chance that this is Tanner’s last high school season.
Our #5 forward in the class, isfrom East Grand Forks. Panzer was one of the players that were wishy-washy to come back this season. He had a very solid summer over in Minot in the NAHL where he totaled 18 points in 16 games. That decision is paying off so far right now, as Panzer just recently hit the 100 point milestone, halfway into his junior season. He is a very unselfish player that gets a good number of assists, but can also light the lamp when needed. This is very likely to be his last season in high school. Juniors are better at preparing you for college hockey than MN ’A’ and he has done enough here to be happy. Panzer will be a very solid college player.