For college hockey fans, the puck doesn't drop for a few more weeks. This date is close enough for us to all get antsy, but distant enough to know this antsy-ness is all but a tease. Fortunately for those living in the state of Minnesota, there are other options to feed that desire for some good ole' hockey.
Just a brief intro here...
The Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League, or better known as the Elite League in the Midwest, started as a plan to try and get high school talent to finish their prep career before heading to juniors. Players wanted exposure in order for opportunities to open at higher levels of play, which made the idea of leaving school for the next level an increasingly popular thought. So in order to combat this idea, the league was created and met most, if not all of these player's expectations.
The Elite League gives the midwest's best players a large amount of exposure at a high level of competition, which equals a small mecca for NCAA schools and NHL scouts. Throughout the duration of this seven week league, fans have the opportunity to watch one of the state's greatest past times without traveling too far.
The action starts early on the weekend of September 7th at New Hope Ice Arena, and games travel around the state from there. Stevens Point, Grand Rapids, Duluth, and Onalaska are just a few towns that will hold a few games this season. Take a peek at the whole schedule.
Below are statistics from a select group of players for each grade. These players are whom I assume to play vital rules this year, collegiate-bound athletes, and/or potential all-around game changers. Statistics taken are totals from the 2012-2013 high school season.
|Derek Frentz||F||Mankato West||Southwest||38-32-70|
|Paul Kenny||F||St. Cloud Apollo||Great Plains||27-40-67|
|Spencer Naas||F||Benilde-St. Margaret's||Northwest||34-31-65|
|Zach Yon||F||Roseau||Great Plains||34-28-62|
|Steven Spinner||F||Eden Prairie||Southeast||19-27-46||Nebraska-Omaha|
|Joseph Marooney||F||Holy Family||Southwest||13-29-42|
|Cullen Munson||F||Holy Family||Southwest||9-13-22|
|Luc Snuggerud||D||Eden Prairie||Southeast||5-37-42||Nebraska-Omaha|
|Ryan Swanson||D||Holy Family Catholic||Southwest||8-26-34|
|Matthew Brettingen||D||St. Cloud Tech||Great Plains||6-25-31|
|Travis Brown||D||Rogers||Northwest||14-7-21||Michigan Tech|
|Mitch Reinke||D||Stillwater||Northeast||3-12-15||Michigan Tech|
|Jake Wahlin||F||White Bear Lake||Northeast||33-34-67||Massachusetts|
|John Peterson||F||Holy Family Catholic||Northeast||24-35-59|
|Marshall Barnes||F||Holy Angels||Southwest||16-41-57|
|Tom Novak||F||St. Thomas Academy||Southeast||28-29-57||Minnesota|
|Jared Bethune||F||Warroad||Great Plains||26-23-49|
|Nicholas Thompson||D||Duluth Denfeld||North||8-27-35|
|Ben Newhouse||D||Benilde-St. Margaret's||Soutwest||2-20-22|
|Tye Ausmus||D||East Grand Forks||North||5-7-12|
|Seamus Donohue||D||St. Thomas Academy||Northeast||0-8-8|
|Austen Long||F||Spring Lake Park||Northeast||25-20-45|
|Tanner Tweten||F||East Grand Forks||North||17-18-35|
|Jonah Bischoff||F||Grand Rapids||North||10-13-23|
|Tyler Jutting||D||Mankato West||Southwest||4-14-18|
- Shattuck-St. Mary's, Team Wisconsin, Colorado Rampage, Chicago Fury, MEPDL Stars, and the U17 team will also participate in the tournament, but are not included within these statistics.
- These rosters may bring answers to whether certain players may be foregoing their remaining years in high school athletics for junior hockey, or training with other programs through the duration of the league's events. Chris Dilks wrote an interesting article in July pertaining to this information. Click Upper Midwest High School Elite League Rosters Announced for more information.
All of the Elite League information can be found on the League's website. If you're interested in looking at the rest of the content, following along to the action live, or learning more about the league go to the High School Elite Hockey.