Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mr. Hockey Finalists Announced

The 10 finalists for the Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award were announced today. Here is the list, with college commitments in parenthesis:

Tyler Barnes - Burnsville(Wisconsin)
J. T. Brown - Rosemount(Uncommitted)
Corey Fienhage - Eastview(North Dakota)
Jake Gardiner - Minnetonka(Wisconsin)
Joe Gleason - Edina(North Dakota)
Justin Jokinen - Cloquet(Uncommitted)
Zach Lehrke - Park Rapids(Uncommitted)
Aaron Ness - Roseau(Minnesota)
Drew Olson - Brainerd(Minnesota-Duluth)
Jake Youso - International Falls (Minnesota)

I'd be shocked if the award doesn't go to Aaron Ness. He's been hands-down the top high school player this season. Jake Gardiner certainly has worlds of potential, but if I had to choose, I would take Ness right now.

Looking at the ten finalists, there are 5 Out-State players and 5 Metro-area players, with all five Metro kids coming from southern suburbs. Also, all ten finalists play at public schools. Last year, Cretin-Derham Hall's Ryan McDonagh became the first player from a private school to win the award.

31 comments:

Jon Marthaler said...

Yeah, it'll be Ness out of that group. As good as the guys on that list are, Ness is the only one that's got the real buzz surrounding him.

Anonymous said...

Let's just finish that list of commitments shall we?

Brown - Mankato
Jokinen - Duluth
Lehrke - St. Cloud

That looks about right!!

Anonymous said...

Have to agree that Ness is the front runner. You do have to wonder though what that list would've looked like, and not to take anything away from those that made the final 10 - all talented and deserving, had there not been so many top forwards depart to the USHL. And would any of them given Ness some competition? Will never know I guess...

Jared Festler
Jake Hansen
Drew LeBlanc
Nico Sacchetti

michsux said...

ness isnt a senior, should be allowed to win just because hes skipping a grade, no way. hes the best for sure but just saying.....

yermoma said...

Lehrke to St. Cloud? Not so sure about that.

Chris, have you seen any of these guys play? How can you make a "hands down" comment if you haven't seen them all?

Best Gopher to be? Ness --> Mr. Hockey

CHRE said...

michsux, by the time he graduates Aaron will have earned as many credits as any other senior. Please tell me why that doesn't make him a senior.

Anonymous said...

Lehrke to St. Cloud? Not so sure about that.

Then where?

Chris said...

"Chris, have you seen any of these guys play?"

Since last June, I've seen each player on the list multiple times in-person. Since the actual high school season, Jokinen is the only one I've made it out to see in-person, but have seen all but Lehrke, Olson, Youso, and Brown on TV.

Anonymous said...

Maybe just be but I would have put Ravndalen in this list before Jokinen

yermoma said...

So, you've seen one of the 10 in person since this summer. And 5 of the remaining 9 on television a couple times.

And we're just supposed to accept your "hands-down" comment as though you're informed on all of these guys?

Not to take anything away from Ness, because he's definately a great player at the high school level. After seeing his famous goal on youtube.com, I wonder how he'll adjust to getting stapled to the boards by a big strong defenseman. He just may wish he'd stayed in high school one more year.

I guess just anybody can have a blog in this day and age, eh?

Chris said...

If Zach Lehrke has gained some sort of super-power between the end of October and January, then I yes, I'm uninformed, and I apologize.

Maybe he did. There is something in the water up there.

CHRE said...

yermoma, I think you're confused by what Chris meant when he wrote that he'd "take [Ness] hands down". Regardless of whether he thinks Aaron is the best player, he was actually making a prediction on who would win Mr. Hockey. The Mr. Hockey award is decided on by college coaches and pro scouts. Since scouts' opinions and rankings can be found all over the place, it's a pretty easy conclusion to draw that it's Ness's award to lose to possibly Gardiner or Youso.

So you see, it doesn't really matter how many times Chris has seen anybody play. If you want, I'll give you 7-1 odds on Lehrke. Ness's odds are probably something like 3-2.

CHRE said...
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CHRE said...
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Anonymous said...

I have had the honor to see Lehrke as well as Ness. The other's I have not. These two players cannot be compared as their skill sets are much different. Both very talented. I do want to say that people would be suprised to see how good Lehrke really is. He isn't beating everyone in the state by 15 goals for no reason. We will see him in the WCHA and he will be a stud. Not to take anything away from Ness, because he too will be phenominal.

Anonymous said...

Where are you getting 15 goals from?
Lehrke has 46
Tony Krogen from Marshall has 43
Corey Leivermann-Mankato West has 38
Beau Hanowski-Little Falls has 37

So how exactly is he beating everyone by 15 goals?

Anonymous said...

Why can't Lucia get more than 2 of the top 10 Minnesotans. Wisconsin and North Dakota grabbed just as many. Minnesota's hockey program is going south in a hurry. Prediction for 20080-2009...no higher finish than 4th in the league.

Anonymous said...

I can pretty much guarantee you that guys like Jordan Schroeder, Nico Sacchetti, and Jake Hansen would be in the final 10 for Mr. Hockey this year if they hadn't left to play junior hockey in the past. The Gophers "only" got two of the 10 because they have top flight recruits that play in other avenues outside of local high school hockey.

Apparently anonymous 6:36 has had his (her?) head in the sand for the last ten years and doesn't know that not every top player from Minnesota stays in high school hockey these days.

Anonymous said...

Comparing Ness to the likes of Schroeder and anyone else in juniors is comparing boys to men. It's HIGH SCHOOL hockey!!! Ness doesn't go up against the talent, size, strength, hockey IQ, etc. that those boys do. I've seen Ness...he's no Schroeder.

yermoma said...

How noble of you, Chris, to resort to the unsolicited Park Rapids bashing. Didn't think my post earlier gave any indication of my location, but you obviously pulled that from my ip info and chose to attack the messenger rather than the message. Classy move, Mr. Blog master.

My post didn't do anything promoting Lehrke for the award, which I can't say he should win, by the way. What's the deal with the juvenile "super-power" comment? You haven't seen the kid play since last fall. Does that mean anything?

If you want to be looked upon as a "professional", maybe act like one.

As for the topic at hand, Ness will win this. How that translates to the next level doesn't really matter, though my feeling is he'll do quite well.

Anonymous said...

It will be Gardiner or Ness, more than likely Ness, but Lehrke sure was fun to watch when I got to see him this fall in the Elite League. Congrats to all finalists.

Anonymous said...

Bring Lehrke to Bemidji to pair up with his brother. Plus, it would only be 45 minutes from Park Rapids.

Anonymous said...

Go Zach Lehrke you rock! You got this in the bag!

Anonymous said...

Go Zach Lehrke you rock! YOu got this in the bag!

Anonymous said...

Go Zach Lehrke you rock! YOu got this in the bag!

Chris said...

I've got nothing against Lehrke. I think he's a great player, with a bright future, and he'd probably be in my top 5 for the award.

My point was that kids usually don't make a drastic jump in the level of their play between the end of the Elite League season and the high school season.

Anonymous said...

Fienhage looks like he's going to be another North Dakota goon.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Eastview a private school?

Anonymous said...

I dont think Lehrke was such a jump..he had 29pts in the elite season..scoring a hatty in one period ...he loooked great when i watched last

Anonymous said...

Lehrke has NOT committed anywhere as of yet

Anonymous said...

I think Zach Lehrke should earn this award because he has been a spectacular player all through his youth hockey career. He is lead scorer in the state and had a great season this year leading his team to a record of 25-3-0 which breaks the Park Rapids record of most wins in the history of hockey teams in this small town. I understand Ness is a great player and is probably the most favorite to win but he is only a junior and this award is for Senior players...