Last week, I joked that if ESPN was going to cover Hockey East games, they may as well start covering Minnesota bantams as well. It turns out that I may have been on to something. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune took an interesting look back at the 2002 Wayzata Bantam "A" team that qualified for the national bantam tournament(Nowadays, Shattuck-St. Mary's automatically gets Minnesota's bid to nationals). The roster of that Wayzata team was fairly impressive. Among some of the names:
Current Gophers Blake Wheeler and Tony Lucia were on the team. Both went on to be NHL draft picks as well. Wheeler went 5th overall in 2004 and Lucia was drafted 193rd overall in 2005.
Two defenseman from that team are currently playing in the USHL and have committed to college for next season. Kevin Wehrs has committed to Minnesota, while Kurt Davis has committed to Minnesota State.
Forward Joey Miller is currently in his first year in the USHL, and will likely be playing college hockey next year, or the year after.
Dominique Barber is playing Division 1-AA football at the University of Minnesota, while former teammate Jimmy Sharp plays for their biggest rival, North Dakota State. James Laurinaitis is currently playing professional football.
They ended up not doing so well at the national tournament, which is understandable considering they were playing AAA teams that draw kids from a much larger area. But it is still amazing to look back at that team. It's an incredible collection of talent considering all those kids came from just one suburb.