We are now in the last week of the regular season, and sections are right around the corner. We are continuing our coverage of breaking down all of the sections in the state. Section 3A features some decent players that have been putting up some good numbers this year. This section might be one of the weaker ones teamwise.. but they have some start players for ’A’. With that being said: let’s get right into it!
Hoffmann is pretty easily the best player in this section. We have covered him a lot this year and over his career, but he should go on to play some sort of hockey after high school. This season, Braxten has 24 goals, 31 assists, and 55 points. Braxten averages an astonishing 2.29 points per game in the 24 games he has played this season. Senior experience matters a ton come tourney time, and that is one of the main reasons why we have Braxten top in this section. He is a great leader for the Eagles and has them playing some solid hockey right now. Look for Braxten to help lead his team to the Xcel. Very solid high school career for Braxten and wish him the best after high school.
Senior defenseman from Windom has had a great career for the Eagles. As a defenseman, he has 75 points in his three seasons in high school. Espenson is a really good playmaker from the point, and can also score from time to time. He has 10 goals and 24 assists in 23 total games. The brother duo ofand is what makes this team potentially dangerous going into the playoffs. They have really good chemistry, and a lot of Zach’s assists are cashed in for Brady. Zach with a very solid career for a defenseman: look out for him on the blue line in the section tourney.
Prep Hockey has always been very high on. He is a great skater and defender and brings a balance scoring attack to every game. Gavin is the leading scorer for the Cougars, as a defense, that is a huge feat. They rely on Gavin so much on both sides of the ice and he is easily the most impactful player on his team. This year, Gavin has 12 goals and 12 assists in 23 games played. He basically averages 1 point per game, while giving the cougars a great defensive effort. They need him to play really well to take this section home and make it to the X.
The Luverne Duo
Behrend is definitely one of the more underrated players in the state. In the last two years he has a combined 98 total points. This season was a huge progression, as he hit 55 points in 22 games- with three regular season games left. Brock will be one of the best ’A’ seniors going into next season. Brock needs to continue this play to help lift his Cardinals to some section playoff wins.
Kroski is having a huge first year in the league this year, as he has 50 points in 22 games during his sophomore campaign. Kroski and Behrend have combined for a very impressive 105 points so far this season. This is easily the best duo in the conference, as they can really put up some points. Kroski is most definitely a player to watch the rest of his career: this is only the start.
Carter- New Ulm
I am taking the New Ulm Eagles to win this conference, mainly because of Hoffmann and their built up resume. They should be the #1 seed in the section and has a pretty clear road to the championship. I think they get it done.
Blake- Mankato East
Blake is picking the very prestigious Mankato East Cougars. They have had a solid season and are a good solid team.