We recently released another updated batch of the Class of 2023 Player Rankings, which features 150 in that edition. The players in this class will be seniors next season and players 1-150 are expected to be major contributors for their teams. This is the strongest class we have seen in awhile when it comes to its depth and it will be a fun high school hockey season next year. In our first article since releasing the rankings, we will breakdown the Top 5 players in this class, which includes some new faces and some usual suspects as well. We also included a couple uncommitted players in the Top 5, which is something we haven’t done in awhile here at Prep Hockey.
| Defense | Chaska | Prep Hockey #1 ’23’s
remains at #1 in our rankings as he continues to be a shutdown defender in high school and juniors. The University of Minnesota commit tallied 10 points in 21 games with the Waterloo Blackhawks of the USHL after the high school hockey season and I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns there for the full 2022-2023 season. With the USHL season winding down, Rinzel will soon look forward to the NHL draft which starts on July 7th. In the recent Central Scouting Rankings for North American skaters, Rinzel was ranked at #26, so we are expecting him to go in this years draft.
| Forward | Hermantown | Prep Hockey #2 ’23’s
All of us here in the State of Hockey had the pleasure of watchinglead the Hermantown Hawks to a 4th Class A State Championship in program history. And that state championship game might’ve been the last time Plante wears the blue and gold. His younger brother Max is moving on from high school hockey and will play for the USA Hockey National Development team next season, so we are speculating Zam will do the same and play somewhere else. After the high school season, Plante once again played with the Chicago Steel of the USHL and now has a total of 21 points in 31 games. Plante is also another player who was included in the Central Scouting Rankings at #40 for North American Skaters. Before we know it, Plante will be a University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldog as he will continue that Hermantown tradition under Head Coach Scott Sandelin.
| Forward | Maple Grove | Prep Hockey #3 ’23’s
has jumped up 11 spots in our updated rankings from #15 all the way to the Top 5 at #3. Gunderson is still an uncommitted player at the moment and the question is when he will commit over if he will. As you might recall, Gunderson helped lead the Crimson all the way to the Class AA title game where they fell in 2OT to Northwest Suburban Conference opponent Andover. Overall, Gunderson had a monster junior season as he by far led the team in points with a whopping 80. He averaged just over two and a half points a game this season. After the high school season Gunderson went on to play with the Madison Capitols of the USHL, but only played in 2 games this time around.
| Forward | Warroad | Prep Hockey #4 ’23’s
of Warroad dropped one spot in our updated rankings and is now at #4. Shaugabay had a pretty decent state tournament this season with 7 total points, but Hermantown was able to shut him down in the title game and that was a big key to the Hawks success en route to a championship. Nonetheless, it was a great season for Shaugabay and the Warriors as they finished with a record of (26-4-1). Shaugabay also put up a crooked number when it comes to points, putting up 81 in his junior campaign. He continued his high powered and skillful offensive game this season and keep an eye on this University of Minnesota-Duluth commit for years to come. After the high school season, Shaugabay skated in 9 games for the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL.
| Forward | Moorhead | Prep Hockey #5 ’23’s
at #5 may be a big surprise for many people, but we feel like he truly deserves it after his dynamite junior season. Bentz finished the season with 69 points, which was tied for the team lead with Mr. Hockey finalist . We have definitely seen some bigger point totals for some of the other players in the Top 5, but when you consider the potent Moorhead schedule, it is truly impressive. From top to bottom, Moorhead plays one of the toughest and deepest schedules in the state. We feel like Bentz has been a tad underrated throughout the last couple years and if he continues his success, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him go from uncommitted to committed soon.