MN Hockey Hub managing editor Loren Nelson on Minnesota high school boys hockey teams and players to watch in 2012-13:
Best of everyone else category most likely will include Duluth East and Minnetonka. Eagan could be surprisingly good this year. Watch out for Andover!
Class 1A -- Clear division of one team, and one team only, and everyone else.
1. St. Thomas Academy
Best competition for STA might very well come from the same section in Totino-Grace. Breck should also be good again, as usual. Look for St. Cloud Cathedral to give Hermantown all it can handle in what should be a highly competitive section.
Forwards -- Connor Hurley of Edina, Shane Gersich of Holy Family Catholic and Grant Besse of Benilde-St. Margaret's are your must-see forwards. Incredible talent among those three. NHL scouts are drooling over Hurley and Gersich. Besse doesn't have the size of those two, but is one of the best pure goal scorers to come through the state in a while.
Defensemen -- A bunch of teams have great one-two combos on D:
Edina: Parker Reno and Matt Nelson
Minnetonka: Tommy Vannelli and Jimmy Schuldt
Hermantown: Neal Pionk and Jake Zeleznikar
Goaltenders -- Chase Perry of Andover is as good as it gets. The junior has to be considered the best goaltender in the state.
St. Thomas Academy's David Zevnik has "two-time state champ" on his resume. Hunter Shepard of Grand Rapids is rock solid.
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MN Hockey Hub managing editor Loren Nelson played high school and college hockey in Minnesota and has been a sports journalist for more than 20 years.
He has worked at news organizations in southern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Florida and California. Nelson has won numerous local, state and national awards for his column, enterprise and feature writing on topics ranging from pee wees to the pros, including Stanley Cup runs by the Tampa Bay Lightning and Anaheim Ducks.
A sports editor for much of his career, Nelson has overseen departments that consistently have produced sections that rank among the best in the nation as judged by the Associated Press Sports Editors. -- MN Hockey Hub bio
Many of the world’s top professional snowmobile racers — including Minnesota’s Tucker Hibbert of Pelican Rapids, Robbie Malinoski of Lino Lakes and Duluth’s Bobby “The Rage” LePage — will compete in the Duluth National Snocross on Nov. 23-25 at Spirit Mountain. A crowd of over 30,000 is expected to watch the world’s best snowmobile racers flying their factory-backed sleds. Read more.
Snocross pix / Visit Duluth