The other day, Blake and I started the process of highlighting the best team in each section, starting with 1AA and 1A. Today we shift our focus over to the 2AA section. This section is loaded with talented players and teams, and it is very hard for us to produce a top-five for the top players. This section is consistently one of the best, and this year it is one of the tightest we have seen the section. There are realistically four to five teams that could win this section this year: Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Prior Lake, and Chaska (maybe Chanhassen).
Alex Bump | 6’0 Forward | Prior Lake Lakers | 5th Ranked ’22
is the surefire number one player in this section. Last week, Prep Hockey was named as the favorite to win the Mr. Hockey award. Since then he had two very solid performances as he had 2 goals and 2 assists in a huge win over Lakeville North, on Saturday. Then, this Tuesday Bump had a hattrick over Shakopee to lead his squad to a 5-3 victory. Bump is currently at 59 points in 23 games played and is averaging 2.57 points per game. The Lakers have disappointed many this season, as expectations were high. They have been playing a lot better hockey as of late, but still won’t be the top seed in their section. Bump is the type of player that could lead his Laker squad to state. In this section, the Lakers have as good of a shot as any, but they need better defensive numbers to win 3 games in a row. The Lakers slot as the 4-5 seed match right now, so that would be a tough first-round matchup and is likely Chanhassen. Bump could have his “Mr. Hockey” moment in the section tourney.
Rinzel would be the top player in this section if it weren’t for Mr. Hockey hopeful. Rinzel is an NHL prospect in this upcoming draft and has a solid chance at going in the early rounds. He is an amazing physical, two-way defender and has all the tools to thrive at the next level. Rinzel has 6 goals and 22 assists for 28 points at this point in the season. Rinzel is such an impactful player for Chaska and he does a lot for them on both ends of the ice. The Hawks had a pretty solid season this year, but still, have hope to go far in this tough section. Their combo of Scheetz, Rinzel, Seaverson, and Bruender is up there for the top in this section for sure. We have Chaska slotted at the three seed, so they would get a somewhat favorable first-round matchup. Will Rinzel lead the Hawks to state? We will find out soon.
Eden Prairie Trio
After winning a state title last season and losing so many talented players, many people like myself thought that Eden Prairie would fall off. They have done anything but that, as they are the likely one seed in this section. Their success thus far can be credited to these three players. These three players are one of the best trios in the state of Minnesota. As of now, they have a combined 108 total points.
Jake Luloff– Senior forward Jake Luloff leads the Eagles in points, as he has 18 goals and 21 assists for 39 points. Luloff is averaging 1.77 points per game and is really filling the shoes of all the Eagle players that moved on after last year. Luloff is truly having a breakout year.
– The sophomore phenom is having a season to remember. One of the best young players in the state is super impactful for the Eagles. He has 16 goals and 19 assists for 35 points. He has no playoff experience, but this year will be huge for his progression as a player. Surefire top player in this section, we will see how he does in the playoffs.
– Andor is the last player on this trio in points, but he is still having a very solid season. The senior forward has 15 goals and 19 assists for 34 total points in 22 games played. His best game this year was when he had 3 goals and an assist against STMA. He also had a crucial hat-trick against Prior Lake earlier in the year that lead his Eagles to a 6-4 victory.
This section will be very tight and it is super tough to predict. Eden Prairie should be the one seed, but there are a couple of teams that can definitely give them a run.
Minnetonka has a big late-season 1-0 win over ranked Wayzata. They have found a new goaltender that has been the x-factor in their recent success. They should get the 2 seed, so just have to win two close games.
Blake- Eden Prairie
Blake is picking EP based on their trio of Luloff, Andor, and Townsend. They have a good shot at this section but need consistent t play out of these three.