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AA Preseason Rankings and Preview 2011-2012
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karl(east)



Joined: 17 Jul 2007
Posts: 4619

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:38 am    Post subject: AA Preseason Rankings and Preview 2011-2012 Reply with quote

It’s time to start my fourth season in the ranking business. As usual, I’ll note that I don’t put much stock in preseason rankings; I do it mostly out of curiosity so that I can look back at the end and see what I over- or under-valued. Have fun debating them and by all means disagree with them--that’s the point of this forum. I make no claim to expertise; I just try to study the teams as much as I can and contribute a meaningful thought or two--hopefully something beyond just a list of names and numbers. Just remember to keep things in perspective--this is, after all, a high school sport.

If something unexpected happens over the next week (another last-second defection to juniors, for example), I may change things.

As a note, regular weekly rankings will begin Sunday, December 4. (Some sites may do them the week before, but that seems unnecessary to me as over half of the teams won’t have started yet.)

1. Duluth East
-The top seven scorers return from last season’s runners-up Hounds edition, including a top line that may be the state’s best since the Edina 08-09 seniors and a group of juniors who should form the core of a strong second line. The defense also returns several high-quality players, and the program has the depth to fill out the remaining openings in the lineup. The question mark is in goal, but they do have options, and with all the talent here they shouldn’t need to ask their goalie to be their savior.
There’s a lot of hype around this team, and frankly they still have some things to prove to me--I very nearly did not put them at #1. It’s worth remembering how narrow many of their key wins were last year; one unlucky bounce in one of several games, and we might not be hyping them nearly as much as we are now. There are other teams out there that can match their talent and take them down. Complacency or a sense of entitlement will kill them. Still, I’m keeping the Hounds at #1 largely due to their experience with the Randolph system and performance in big games last year. After a likely bloodbath against Cambridge, the Wayzata game will be an interesting early-season bellwether.
Key games: The Schwan Cup Gold, Dec. 26-28. Whatever their talent level, the Schwan Cup always seems to be a struggle for the Hounds. With few tough teams on the early schedule, it will be a key chance to prove their worthiness.
Schedule: Thurs 12/1 at Cambridge-Isanti, Sat 12/3 vs. #14 Wayzata

2. Minnetonka
-After something of a retooling year, Tonka is back amongst the most dangerous teams in the state with a team that is nearly as talented as the 09-10 group that came up just short of a title. The defense is strong, and their top lines feature some solid seniors who are veterans of the last title run, the real stars of the team who are juniors, and a senior transfer who gives them a nice added weapon. As with East, goaltending may be a question mark. The talent is there, the balance is there; will it all mesh? The Skippers have a busy opening week, with three games against above average AA programs; the Burnsville game in particular interests me.
Key game: 1/12 vs. Benilde St. Margaret’s, which will likely determine the top seed in 6AA.
Schedule: Tues 11/29 at Apple Valley, Thurs 12/1 vs. #7 Burnsville, Sat. 12/3 vs. Centennial

3. Benilde-St. Margaret’s
-Benilde brings as much top-end forward talent to the table as anyone in the state; they should have two lethal lines this year, and they continue to reel in some nice future prospects. As a program, Benilde is taking the necessary steps to become a consistent contender at the AA level and may supplant Hill-Murray as the state’s top private hockey school. For all the praise, though, the same ills that plagued the Red Knights last year need better answers: to win the section and make a state title run, they need to shore up their defense and resolve the goaltending situation. Teams don’t win championships without great defense, and Benilde needs theirs to come together. Their first big test comes in game #2 against Hill-Murray.
Key games: St. Louis Park Tournament, Dec. 28-30. As the highest-ranked team in the field, the Red Knights need to win their own tournament.
Schedule: Tues 11/29 at St. Cloud Tech, Thurs 12/1 at #9 Hill-Murray

4. Eagan
-The core of players that has led their rise to the state scene gears up for one last run. The front line of talent can match up with just about anyone, especially on defense, and enough of the second-tier talent returns to make them a contender for a state title. I do question their depth some--the incoming bantams had a mediocre season last year, and the goaltending situation might be the source of some intrigue. The Wildcats benefit from a fairly thin section. After a warm-up act against Hastings, they get a shot at revenge for last year’s State semifinal loss.
Key game: A road trip to Minnetonka on 1/3 will be their only chance to prove themselves against another certain title contender.
Schedule: Thurs 12/1 vs. Hastings, Sat 12/3 at #12 Eden Prairie

5. Maple Grove
-The program may not have the star power of the teams above them, but it continues to gush with depth. They return almost all of last year’s squad, add another strong youth group, and we can’t forget that they were a consensus top-5 team by the end of the regular season last year. Still, they still have to prove to us that they can get by Blaine. The tournament in Wayzata offers them a chance to make an early statement before they settle into their NWSC schedule.
Key game: 1/4 vs. Duluth East. The Crimson knocked off the Hounds last year, and if they do it again we’ll know they’re a legitimate title contender.
Schedule: Wayzata Turkey Trot--Fri 11/25 vs. #14 Wayzata, Sat 11/26 vs. #8Edina/Buffalo; Thurs 12/1 at Anoka, Sat 12/3 vs. Andover

6. Grand Rapids
-They were 90 seconds away from State last year, and though they lose a few key contributors, last year’s squad was deep enough that they should be able to plug most of the holes. They’re in especially good shape on defense with a pair of top-end players manning the blue line, and they’re bringing along a goalie for whom they have high expectations. Their biggest losses were at forward--I’m curious to see if they load their best forwards on a top line or if they spread it around in search of some depth. The pieces are in place for another gaudy record; the million dollar question is, can they get by East? The schedule opens with a quality Bemidji team, then two games against mid-level 7AA teams.
Key game: 1/12 vs. Duluth East. The biggest game held in Grand Rapids in quite some time, with huge implications for 7AA.
Schedule: Sat 11/26 vs. #13 Bemidji, Tues 11/29 vs. Cloquet, Fri. 12/2 vs. Forest Lake

7. Burnsville
-This is where the rankings start getting murkier. The real talent on this team is in its younger players, but they return more of their upperclassmen than most of the other big Metro programs below them in the rankings, so they get the edge for now. Nothing else really jumps out about this team, but they are a steady, consistent program, and in what should be a down year for Edina, that opens up a window of opportunity that they need to seize. As usual the first week of the season presents some serious challenges, as the Blaze travel to Pagel, then host Hill-Murray.
Key game: 1/10 vs. Edina. It’s the Blaze’s chance to wrest the section’s top seed away from the Hornets.
Schedule: Thurs 12/1 at #2 Minnetonka, Sat 12/3 vs. #9 Hill-Murray

8. Edina
-Walker’s sudden departure sent me scrambling to find a new write-up for the Hornets. (For the record, they were at #7 beforehand, though I was far more confident in putting them there than I am in putting them here now.) They’re not in quite as much of a rebuilding mode as conference rivals Eden Prairie and Wayzata thanks to one returning star off last year’s squad (Nanne) and a pair of additions who were not on the roster last year but should jump in immediately (Hurley, Reno). With the strength of their program, no number of graduations or departures can drive them too far out of the picture. Still, they will be asking a lot of some young players; we’ll see how easily they step into their new roles. The season gets off to a busy start--as usual they’re in the Wayzata Turkey Trot, this time facing Buffalo before a stiffer opponent in the tournament’s second game, and then play a dangerous Lakeville South team the following week.
Also, if I may get up on my soapbox for a moment: I understand that players leave early, and I'm not going to stand in their way. But for the sake of everyone involved, I think it's best to make these decisions long before the season starts, not during tryouts.
Key games: 1/19 and 2/4 against Minnetonka. The Hornets will look to repeat the role they played two years ago, when they upset an elite Edina team.
Schedule: Wayzata Turkey Trot--Fri. 11/25 vs. Buffalo, Sat. 11/26 vs. #5 Maple Grove/#14 Wayzata; Thurs 12/1 vs. Eastview, Sat 12/3 at #15 Lakeville South

9. Hill-Murray
-Graduated a deep senior class and also saw a series of defections, leaving us with a team that will look very different from last year’s. But with juniors LaValle and Guentzel providing the scoring punch and their typical good coaching and wealth of resources, they’ll be in the mix as usual--this season will be an interesting test of this program’s ability to endure some losses. For the first time in recent memory, depth may be an issue. They benefit from an especially weak section 4AA. The Pioneers have an intense opening week ahead of them, with games against Benilde and Burnsville.
Key games: 12/10 and 1/26 against St. Thomas Academy for the CSC title.
Schedule: Thurs 12/1 vs. #3 Benilde-St. Margaret’s, Sat 12/3 at #7 Burnsville

10. Blaine
-The flow of talent continues through the north metro suburb, and Blaine has a realistic chance at a seventh(!) consecutive state tournament. They’re led by a strong goalie and a star junior defenseman; they have depth at forward but will need to find some go-to goal scorers--even with Jonny Brodzinski, they didn’t score a whole ton last year. The Bengals open with a long trek up to the northwestern part of the state that should give them a pair of interesting tests.
Key games: 12/8 and 1/26 against Maple Grove. The Bengals can once again ruin the Crimson’s high hopes for taking home the 5AA crown, and we’ll get a good idea of where they stand just a few games into the season.
Schedule: Fri 12/2 at Roseau, Sat 12/3 at #11 Moorhead

11. Moorhead
-Return most of last year’s 2-and-out state tournament team. Some decent depth and a top-end goalie, but I’m not convinced they have enough firepower to make a serious run at anything more than a section title--they didn’t score a whole lot of goals last year, and their top prospect bolted for other opportunities. Still, they could ride their solid defense to another state tournament, with perhaps a few notable upsets along the way. An early game against Blaine should make for a good defensive battle and will help show us where the Spuds belong.
Key games: The Spuds play Duluth East and Minnetonka on consecutive days, Jan. 6 and 7.
Schedule: Thurs 12/1 vs. Fargo South (ND), Sat 12/3 vs. #10 Blaine

12. Eden Prairie
-With the Eden Prairie Class of 2011 now firmly cemented in the state record books, the rebuilding process begins. Despite losing practically everyone, they do boast one of the strongest incoming bantam groups, and from the glimpses I saw last year, there’s also a decent amount of talent on the team that was kept from seeing a lot of ice by the great class ahead of them. I don’t think they’re a state title contender; I looked up the roster of that Edina team that had a great senior class in 09, then won it all the next year, and they returned far more than this group does. But they could still be dangerous enough to make some noise in 6AA by the end of the year. We’ll get an early idea of where this season is going in two games against old rivals who are now members of the SSC.
Key games: Edina Holiday Classic, Dec. 15-17. There are a lot of options with their schedule, but this tournament will be a good gauge of where they’re at.
Schedule: Thurs 12/1 vs. Bloomington Jefferson, Sat 12/3 vs. #4 Eagan

13. Bemidji
-A strong defensive team that should have enough scoring to take a second run at the 8AA title game and aim to end the Moorhead/Roseau rotation in the section. The front-line talent here doesn’t stand out quite as much as it does at other schools, but they are probably the most balanced team in the section. They face a big opening test in Grand Rapids, but after that they settle into the easiest schedule of any AA contender.
Key games: 12/8 an 2/11 against Moorhead. For all their success last year the Jacks couldn’t beat the Spuds, and they’ll probably need to in order to get out of the section.
Schedule: Sat 11/26 at #6 Grand Rapids, Tues 11/29 vs. East Grand Forks, Thurs 12/1 vs. St. Cloud Apollo

14. Wayzata
-With the early departure of Mario Lucia, they lose practically as much as the team they lost to in the 6AA final last year. But like Eden Prairie, they have some capable players who have been blocked by the classes in front of them, and they have the state’s biggest youth program feeding in. Both teams will be great test cases this season--we’ll see just how much they can benefit from the depth of their programs. I’ve put Wayzata behind EP for now because of the likely adjustment period to a new coach and bantam defections to other teams. A couple of very tough games in the early going.
Key games: 1/28 and 2/16 against Edina. The Trojans have owned Edina lately; can that continue?
Schedule: Wayzata Turkey Trot--Fri 11/25 vs. #5 Maple Grove, Sat 11/26 vs. #8 Edina/Buffalo; Sat 12/3 at #1 Duluth East

15. Lakeville South
-The Cougars are not a particularly deep team, but they do have the preseason Mr. Hockey favorite and are in a weak section, which immediately puts them on the radar. If the supporting cast--which has some decent experience, if nothing else--can give them a few more options, South could be a pretty dangerous team. They’ve built themselves a reasonably difficult schedule and open with Edina next Saturday.
Key games: 12/10 and 1/21 against Eagan. Their chance to make a statement on the state scene, particularly in the early-season game.
Schedule: Sat 12/3 vs. #8 Edina

The Next Ten
Elk River
-With the talent in the youth program this team should be on the upswing over the next few years, but it’s hard to say how far they’ll be able to jump in year one. They do have a 4-year starter in goal, but they graduated their only real standout skater from last year’s team, and as a result have some sorting to do. They could be dangerous by year’s end if enough goes right. The early schedule features a bunch of beatable mid-level NWSC opponents.

Bloomington Jefferson
-Return a reasonably large core from a team that improved over the course of last season, and was in contention by the end. They don’t have the front-end talent we’re used to out of Jefferson teams, but the program is deep enough to keep them in the picture and give them an outside but perfectly realistic shot at a section title.

Centennial
-With the rise of Maple Grove and Blaine’s continued success, the Cougars are 5AA’s forgotten team. The program stands at a crossroads: after a decade of great youth teams but only one state tourney trip, they’ve got a new coach who will try to reverse the trends of the past few years. I don’t expect drastic changes, but there is some potential here.

Roseau
-There’s a decent amount of upside to this Rams squad, which has some explosive young talent. If they can shore up the defensive and goaltending issues that plagued them last season, they are a serious threat to win 8AA. However, that’s a big “if”--they’re probably still a year away from being really dangerous. Their games with section rival Moorhead should make for an interesting clash of styles.

Apple Valley
-Now that most of the top-end talent has bolted for greener pastures, a team that once looked like a sure title contender confronts some real uncertainty. This year will be a serious test of the program’s depth; they face long odds, but if anyone can derail Eagan in 3AA, it’s probably the Eagles. Tough opening test against Minnetonka.

Forest Lake
-A pair of fine senior forwards should give the Rangers plenty of offense, and in this year’s wide-open SEC, a conference title is a very real possibility. They probably don’t have the defense to make a serious run at the section, though. An early test against Grand Rapids will give us a better idea about a team that didn’t quite live up to raised expectations last year.

White Bear Lake
-Lost just about all the offense off last year’s state tournament team, which means we’re in for some growing pains as they look for points. The good news is the strength of the returning defense, which should at least keep them in games, and in the current SEC they’ll have a chance to win every night. The early schedule should let them get off to a reasonably good start.

Prior Lake
-It’s time to welcome a new team to the state scene: after an impressive second half last season that culminated in a first-round upset of Holy Angels, the Lakers are ready to get some recognition in 2AA. They return four of their top five scorers; though I don’t think they’re quite on par with the top 3, they have a very real shot at playing in a section semifinal again this year, and perhaps making it competitive. Their only game in the first week is against a decent Woodbury team.

Brainerd
-Lost Archibald, but return pretty much everyone else from last year’s team, including two high-end forwards. Could make 8AA even more interesting if they can play some defense and stay out of the box. A light early schedule should help them rack up a nice record.

Cloquet
-Have to replace a decent chunk of their scoring, but Karson Kuhlman and a decent goalie should keep them in most games. Tough season opener on the road against Grand Rapids.

On the radar screen: Holy Angels, Stillwater, Woodbury, Mounds View, Lakeville North, Hastings.

A trip through the sections:

1AA
15 Lakeville South
Lakeville North
-With Lindgren out of Lakeville South’s way, this is their section to rule this year. Another upset would be crushing. North remains the default #2 as they start in under a new coach; we’ll see if anyone further south can get things together and make the race more interesting.

2AA
7 Burnsville
8 Edina
(17) Bloomington Jefferson
(23) Prior Lake
Holy Angels
-One of the deeper and more intriguing sections this year; it’s been dominated by Edina in recent memory, but Burnsville has the resources to end that run, and even Jefferson could be considered a real threat. We’ll see just how competitive PL and AHA can be; I’m not sure they can win it, but they could upset somebody along the way.

3AA
4 Eagan
(20) Apple Valley
-This section is Eagan’s to lose, and AV appears to be their only real competition. After these two is a muddle of four teams; Cretin is in need of a new core to build around after some graduations, Hastings still has some scoring punch, but nothing to get too excited about, and the Woodbury schools are still sorting themselves out after the split. I’m guessing Woodbury will step forward to claim the 3-seed; there’s too much talent in that youth program for the high school team to languish, and the Royals return more than the other schools.

4AA
9 Hill-Murray
(22) White Bear Lake
Stillwater
Mounds View
-Hill may not be as great as they have been the past few years, but with WBL losing so much, their road to state is easier than ever. WBL is still the team with the best shot of knocking off Hill--there’s a bit of young talent there, and one never can be sure how the mental games in a rivalry will play out. Defections decimated Stillwater, though the program is deep enough that they will probably still nab a top-four seed. If you want a good dark-horse pick, go with Mounds View.

5AA
5 Maple Grove
10 Blaine
(18) Centennial
-For much of the past decade, Centennial was the very talented team that struggled to get past Blaine in this section. This year, Maple Grove must prove they’re not going to fall into that same trap. They have too much talent to continue to fall short. Centennial lurks as a potential spoiler.

6AA
2 Minnetonka
3 Benilde-St. Margaret’s
12 Eden Prairie
14 Wayzata
-The usual four culprits are at the top of the state’s best section, though it’s not quite as good as the past two years. Minnetonka’s defense gives them an early edge over Benilde, though the gap is not large. If enough goes right, EP and Wayzata could be threats in the end; otherwise, the 6AA title game looks to be a fantastic matchup.

7AA
1 Duluth East
6 Grand Rapids
(16) Elk River
(21) Forest Lake
(25) Cloquet
-We’ll see how much noise Elk River manages to make, but I’m expecting a 2-team race to the top again. After a couple of lean years, 7AA has rebounded and is again one of the strongest in the state, with two elite teams and a deep second tier--Cloquet and Forest Lake could ride their respective stars to an upset in the right situation.

8AA
11 Moorhead
13 Bemidji
(19) Roseau
(24) Brainerd
-With Roseau rising again and Bemidji and Moorhead looking strong, the pieces are in place for a great 3-team race. Each team has different strengths--Moorhead will have to rely on defense, while Roseau is the most offensive team, and Bemidji falls somewhere in between. Even Brainerd has a handful of quality forwards capable of disrupting things. As the defending champs, the Spuds get the top spot for now. It’s now been a few years since this section produced a truly elite team.

A few other notes:
-I think the top teams this year are a bit further ahead of the pack than they usually are, but the second tier (roughly from #7-#19) is deeper and in general harder to separate. I think the top of the rankings will be more stable than they usually are, while I expect more headaches than last year in the lower section.
-What intrigues me about this season is how spread around the top teams are. For the past three years, the top two seeds at State have been Lake teams; that will likely end this year.
-On a similar note, a couple of the perennial contenders (Hill, Edina, EP) are in major re-tooling mode, though other regulars like East and Minnetonka are there to take their place. Still, that is something of a window for a couple of new contenders to slip in.
-Despite that, I think this is a temporary blip; the giant West Metro programs seem more entrenched than ever. Meanwhile, the East Metro is both unbalanced and unsettled, with a single heavy favorite in 3AA and 4AA.
-The Lake remains the state’s top conference, though it is down some, with only one clear title contender. The SSC is probably next in line. The SEC may not have any top teams, but it is absolutely wide-open.

Enjoy the first few games of the season!
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netminder.net



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The SEC conference will be one of the most interesting conferences to watch, any team can win/lose on any night, IMO.
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northwoods oldtimer



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karl,
I will save HHF the trouble.
"You ranked Eagan too low" Razz
Great pre-season research and rankings.
Looking forward to another great year of hockey!!


Last edited by northwoods oldtimer on Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:29 am; edited 2 times in total
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gitter



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karl - nice job.

About your comment regarding Walker - I have no idea why he left, but to leave during tryouts and join a team that is 20+ games into their season, one would think there has to be something below the surface, whether it's eligibility, personal conflict, etc. It will be interesting if the real story ever comes out.
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HappyHockeyFan



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Karl - I think the rankings look as dead on as they can be for this time of the year. Can you post a list of top end players that have left their programs for other opportunities and where they went ?? Lookin forward to another great season of HSH, I have plans to attend 35-40 regular season games this year !!

HHF Very Happy Very Happy
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east hockey
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I would put Eagan at #2. If not #1.

That being said, another excellent job, Karl.

Lee
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OnFrozenPond



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HappyHockeyFan wrote:
Can you post a list of top end players that have left their programs for other opportunities and where they went ??



There is a thread for that here: http://www.ushsho.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=26392
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MnMade-4-Life



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:45 pm    Post subject: Re: AA Preseason Rankings and Preview 2011-2012 Reply with quote

karl(east) wrote:
1. Duluth East


G Rolling Eyes figure!

Gimme Eagan at 2 and swap OMG and Benilde and you have a deal!
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HShockeywatcher



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there anything better than #1? Can you be #0? Maybe that's where Eagan should be Cool

Looks like a good list with a lot of great analysis like we're used to from karl.
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minnscout



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree it will come down to the winner of 6aa and Duluth east. I would put Benilde in the top spot based on pure team talent. I think their D and goaltending will be one of their strong points. Between Jecha and Quale they have the best goaltending combination in the state. Their D should be very strong with Horton, Johnson, Graham, Collins, Anderson and Glover (3 played in elite league).

Their top 2 lines are very good and it will be a battle for the 3rd and forth lines. Top lines Besse, Horn, O'Borsky, Moore, Labosky, ellegard.
Great young players in Jablonski, Hale, Sullivan, Polson, Jungels, Fleming
Plus returning player Lauth, Chumley, Haselman, Hickok, Gionet

It will be interesting who makes the team or gets cut, sometimes having to many good players can hurt.

Minnetonka is loaded as well with letteri, Holmquist, Rothstein, Schutt's
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PuckU126



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course East is #1, Karl. Razz

IMO, Eagan could be bumped up a spot or two; however, we'll see if that's true soon.

Cool
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HappyHockeyFan



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Eagan is fairly ranked at #4, the goaltending picture is not very clear yet. Offensively and defensively they are solid as they return all their best players from last year including 6 players that played in the Elite league. Cant wait to get things started... Laughing
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longdistancespectator8



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So excited to start my week off with the rankings again.

Thanks Karl
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pipersniper12



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good to me. Great way to get the year started!!
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Snap Happy



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HappyHockeyFan wrote:
I think Eagan is fairly ranked at #4...

WOWski! I think someone is trying to keep their expectations at a minimum... hope they don't pull a Vikings '98 special on ya HHF... Razz
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blueblood



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:29 pm    Post subject: Tonka Reply with quote

Note to minnscout-

Check your program guide, Schutt graduated last season and now plays for the Lincoln Stars of the USHL...
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karl(east)



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the nice comments and discussion.

-I'd be curious to hear someone make the case for Eagan at #2--I wasn't really anticipating that several people would argue that (and HHF isn't among them! Laughing )
-Benilde only had 1 defenseman in the Elite League, unless you're counting Elite D--I have found that the number of players a team has in Elite D is not a very good reflection of talent level, as some teams don't really try to get their players into it. Still, it would be a sign Benilde is going in the right direction, though I still think their defense as a group has more to prove than the other teams in the top 6.
-minnscout brings up an interesting point about Benilde perhaps having too much talent. As anyone who's followed a big, deep program knows, the lack of roster spots can lead to some problems and people feeling like they've been slighted. Of course, winning championships is an effective way of quieting these critics.
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minnscout



Joined: 18 Nov 2010
Posts: 283

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Benilde had 3 D in Elite league Glover, Collins and Horton. If u count D keague D.
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minnscout



Joined: 18 Nov 2010
Posts: 283

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I am working on my rink outside and my typing on previous post. Benilde did have 3 elite league in Horton, Collins, Glover. Couple more played in Elite D.
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HappyHockeyFan



Joined: 30 Nov 2008
Posts: 738
Location: Eagan

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I was more sure about the goaltending situation Karl I would be yelling much louder about Eagan being higher... Laughing Laughing For now I will be content at #4 ... Laughing Laughing
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It's not the Best players, it's the Right players! HB
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MrBoDangles



Joined: 27 Jan 2009
Posts: 3312

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have to go with Tonka at #1. They probably had the most dominant group of forwards in the Elite League and defense has been their specialty.

It's probably been a while since we've had a more dominant top four. It will only make the cinderella stories that much better... Wink
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hockeyhound16



Joined: 25 Jul 2011
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HappyHockeyFan wrote:
If I was more sure about the goaltending situation Karl I would be yelling much louder about Eagan being higher... Laughing Laughing For now I will be content at #4 ... Laughing Laughing


Eagan solidified their goaltending with the transfer in of a Senior goaltender from Montana. From the sounds of it he is just what they ordered. They have their Freshman transfer goaltender from Lakeville So. for future years. Believe me, Taylor is planning ahead.

Eagan should be #1 with the work they've put into it. If goaltending is the unknown to most, not to worry, they've taken care of it.
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keepyourheadup



Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 1012

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like you can count on that freshman sticking around...better start planning for when he leaves.
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minnscout



Joined: 18 Nov 2010
Posts: 283

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blueblood

Sorry Minnetonka brothers Schuldts not Schutt
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HShockeywatcher



Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 6442

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hockeyhound16 wrote:
HappyHockeyFan wrote:
If I was more sure about the goaltending situation Karl I would be yelling much louder about Eagan being higher... Laughing Laughing For now I will be content at #4 ... Laughing Laughing


Eagan solidified their goaltending with the transfer in of a Senior goaltender from Montana. From the sounds of it he is just what they ordered. They have their Freshman transfer goaltender from Lakeville So. for future years. Believe me, Taylor is planning ahead.

Eagan should be #1 with the work they've put into it. If goaltending is the unknown to most, not to worry, they've taken care of it.


I think Eagan is fine where they're at. I believe the original post was in reference to my suggesting they should've been higher last year (in a ranking system that uses knowledge of a team, after I saw them handle the eventual state champs).

Fortunately for them, they play EP in their second game. Unfortunately for them, a) they probably won't play in another "tough" game until the 2012 when they play the Skippers. They could easily be undefeated going into that game.
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