The first rankings of the Minnesota boy's high school hockey season are starting to come out.
Followthepuck.com has put out their top ten teams for each class.
Class A looks like this:
2. St. Thomas
5. St. Cloud Cathedral
9. Red Wing
10. International Falls
This is pretty much a two-horse race between Breck and St. Thomas. Nobody else in Class A has the depth to compete with them, which isn't surprising given they have the entire Minneapolis and St. Paul suburbs to draw from. I've complained about that aspect of Class A for a couple years, and probably will a couple more times this year, but it is what it is.
Sartell is an interesting name on there. I don't know much about their team, but they could be an interesting pick to go to the state tournament, playing in the now Ben Hanowski-less Section 6A.
And here are the big guys in Class AA.
1. Eden Prairie
4. Bloomington Jefferson
5. Holy Angels
6. Benilde-St. Margaret's
9. Elk River
Everybody knows Eden Prairie lost Nick Leddy off of last year's state championship team, but they didn't lose much else. Section 6AA will be crazy, with #1 Eden Prairie, #2 Minnetonka, and #6 Benilde(and I'd probably put Benilde at #4 in the state on my list) all competing for one trip to the state tournament. The games between these three will be absolutely critical because earning the top seed in the section will mean avoiding the semifinal of death in the section playoffs.
Section 2AA will be intense as always. Jefferson and Holy Angels are both in the top 5, and looming just outside the top 10 in this list is Edina, who still has a lot of talent remaining, despite losing so much after last year.
There are some really strong teams this year, which should make for some outstanding hockey.
Meanwhile, Let's Play Hockey magazine has their top 20 for each class. If you're keeping score at home, private schools from the state's five largest cities(Twin Cities, Rochester, Duluth, St. Cloud) make up 7 of the top 20 Class A teams.