NHL Central Scouting Services recently released its midterm rankings for the 2012 NHL entry draft, which will be held in Pittsburgh. Lakeville native and future Gophers defenseman Brady Skjei was slotted at No. 18 for North American skaters, pegging him as a potential first-round pick in June.

"I'm glad that Central Scouting thinks highly of me, but I know that there is a lot more hockey to be played before the draft," Skjei said. "I have to stay focused and keep playing good hockey."

He admitted he hopes to go in the first round, but that's not his primary concern.

"I try to avoid it as much as I can and just focus on where I'm at right now and try to get better every day," he said. "But that is one of my goals."

The smooth-skating defenseman is playing with former Lakeville South forward and Bulldogs commit Kyle Osterberg for the U.S. National Team Development Program's U-18 Team. Ex-Apple Valley forward A.J. Michaelson is No. 83. Eagan seniors Will Merchant and Eli May are 155 and 159.

3rd time around for Hauger

Maria Hauger was named Gatorade Minnesota Girls' Cross-Country Runner of the Year for the third consecutive season. The Shakopee junior won her third Class 2A state title and won the Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Regional championships. She finished 24th at the Nike Cross Nationals Final and 21st in the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships.

Rynda rolls for New Prague

New Prague senior forward Anna Rynda is averaging 23.3 points per game. Her lowest-scoring performance this season was 15 points. She netted 20 against Class 4A No. 1 Hopkins.

Panthers' Flack is back

Lakeville North senior Tyler Flack broke his wrist before the season started. Undaunted, the Panthers flexed their depth by going 10-0 without the South Dakota recruit. Lakeville North suffered its first defeat, 54-48, against Class 4A No. 1 Eastview last Tuesday, in Flack's first game back. He scored just two points in that game before putting up 15 two days later in the Panthers' 79-65 win over Eagan.