This is part two of my report on the Great Festival. Here is Part I, which covers kids that have already committed to college.
I think most of these kids will end up playing college hockey somewhere some day. Last year, three kids that were uncommitted coming into this tournament ended up playing college hockey the following year(Addison DeBoer and Brian McMillin for CC, and Nick Canzanello for Minnesota State). Not only were these kids playing for the numerous scouts in attendance, they were also trying out for the team that will represent Minnesota in the Chicago Showcase, which features the best high school seniors from around the country. Minnesota has a rule that only players that haven't verbally committed to a college can play in the Showcase.
Here are some of the kids that stood out to me:
Reid Ellingson(Cloquet)- I continue to be impressed with Ellingson. I think he'll be a steal for whichever college he ends up at.
Mark Guggenberger(Richfield)-He was probably the next best goalie, but as I mentioned last night, he signed with the WHL.
Jack Paul(Minnetonka)-He looked good when I saw him play during the season, and he had another outstanding game. I think he's got a lot of potential.
Brandon Brodhag(Elk River)-Very strong kid. Not a pretty skater, but he's effective. His hands aren't spectacular, but he was able to finish off a nice goal and created some plays.
Brandon Bahnemann(Rochester Lourdes)-He's got a lot of talent, and skates exceptionally well for his size. I think he'll be drafted this summer. He will be going to Chicago for the Showcase.
Ben Lynch(Blaine)-He's a little small, but definitely has the talent to play D1 hockey one day.
Chris Franks(Burnsville)-He's big and he skates pretty well. He scored on a slap shot from outside his own blueline. I think he'll commit to a college soon.
Drew Darwitz(Cretin-Derham Hall)-Again, he'll probably have to prove himself in junior hockey because of his size, but he's got a lot of potential as an offensive defenseman.
Aaron Shiborowski(Benilde)-Hurt his knee earlier in the tournament, so I didn't get a chance to see him play.
Greg Sutherland(Hibbing)-Pretty good size, strength and skating ability. He should be a solid Jr. A player somewhere.
Sam Carr(Roseau)-I wasn't as impressed as I was at the state tournament, but he's still a big kid, and has the ability to occasionally jump into the play. It may take a little longer for him to get to college than I initially thought, but I still think he'll get there.
Matt Voigtlander(Centennial)-I wasn't that familiar with him before yesterday, but he played pretty well on defense. I think he might make the team to Chicago.
Justin Filzen(Proctor)-He played on a line with Jack Connolly and looked like he had a good weekend.
Kurt Weston(Roseau)-I don't think there's ever been a Roseau that I didn't like, and Weston qualfies as a typical Roseau player. He works hard and is a smart hockey player.
There's a couple other kids that are maybe more longshots as college hockey players, but stood out to me...
Colin Briscoe(Rochester Century)-He wasn't even on the top line for his high school team, but played well at the state tournament, and did a lot of nice things at the Great 8.
Matt Hartmann(White Bear Lake)-Incredibly strong. Could be a nice physical presence for somebody down the line.
Lukas Jorgensen(Little Falls)-I never overly impressed when I saw him play with Little Falls the past couple years, but I thought he played really well.
Ryan Witty(New Prague)-A very good player for New Prague, and looked good here.