The ten finalists for the Minnesota Mr. Hockey award have been announced. Here they are:
Mark Alt-Cretin-Derham Hall-Minnesota commit
Joey Benik-St. Francis-St. Cloud commit
Nick Bjugstad-Blaine-Minnesota commit
Max Gardiner-Minnetonka-Minnesota commit
Caleb Herbert-Bloomington Jefferson-Minnesota-Duluth commit
Justin Holl-Minnetonka-Minnesota commit
Christian Isackson-St. Thomas-Minnesota commit
Adam Krause-Hermantown-Minnesota-Duluth commit
Brock Nelson-Warroad-North Dakota
I came pretty close to picking this group before the season started. Knochenmus should have been a finalist, but missed a significant chunk of the season with a shoulder injury--so did Max Gardiner, but Knochenmus was a little more of a borderline candidate because he's unlikely to be drafted. Gaede fell off the map when Woodbury had a disappointing season, and Krause has played excellent this year and definitely deserves a spot among the finalists.
Nick Bjugstad is still the heavy, heavy favorite to win this award. I think Brock Nelson has moved into second place, but still significantly behind Bjugstad. The Minnetonka kids are probably the only other ones with a shot at winning, though Gardiner has missed a lot of time with an injury, and I still feel like there are nights when Holl isn't even the best defenseman on his team.
Cal Decowski is the only uncommitted player on the list. He's had interest from Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesota State and Colorado College out west, and a handful of eastern schools that would offer him the chance to play college hockey next season.
Thief River Falls' Zane Gothberg also took home the award for Top Senior Goalie, a well deserved honor for him.