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Minnesota sports, as seen elsewhere

Eden Prairie star Casey Mittelstadt rated Top 5 North American skater

Casey Mittelstadt, Eden Prairie’s star forward and the Gophers' prized recruit, is rated among the top five North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings of players eligible for the 2017 draft.

A dozen Minnesota high school standouts, several Gophers recruits, and two St. Cloud State freshmen were recognized in the rankings released Wednesday.

Mittelstadt is ranked No. 5 overall and is the top-rated player from Minnesota and outside of the Canadian Hockey League. St. Cloud State’s Ryan Poehling is ranked No. 14 and Edina native Grant Mismash is No. 30.

Mittelstadt, the 6-1, 201-pound lefthanded shooting forward, spent the fall playing in the USHL and scored eight goals, 13 assists in 16 games with the Green Bay Gamblers. He returned to Eden Prairie this winter for his senior season of high school hockey.

The Gophers wanted Mittelstadt to enroll early and begin his college career as a 17-year-old, but his desire to win a high school state championship fueled his decision to return to Eden Prairie. The Eagles lost last year’s 2A state championship game to Wayzata.

Poehling, the 6-2, 183-pound lefthanded forward, has three goals and four assists through 21 games in his first season at St. Cloud State. Mismash, the 6-foot, 183-pound lefthanded forward, has 13 goals and 13 assists in 37 games with the U.S. U-18 National Developmental Team. The Shattuck St. Mary’s alum is committed to North Dakota.

Hermantown’s Dylan Samberg is Minnesota’s second-highest rated prep standout on the list. The 6-3, 190-pound lefthanded defenseman helped lead Hermantown to a Class 1A title last season with five goals, 13 assists. The Minnesota Duluth recruit has six goals and eight assists through 14 high school games this season.

Scott Reedy, the Gophers recruit and Shattuck-St. Mary’s alum from Prior Lake, is ranked No. 47. The righthanded forward has 11 goals and 13 assists this season in 35 games with the U.S. U-18 team.

Former Edina High School standout and Gophers recruit Clayton Phillips is ranked No. 72. The lefthanded defenseman has four goals and seven assists in 29 games with the Fargo Force this season in the USHL.

Other Gophers recruits, defenseman Nathan Knoepke (U.S U-18/Farmington) is ranked 106th, and forward Brannon McManus (USHL/Newport Beach, Calif.) is No. 178.

Check out  the complete NHL Central Scouting midterm rankings and college commitments for more Minnesota connections.

Ex-Vikings QB Brad Johnson's son gets college offers as 8th grader

The son of former Vikings quarterback and Super Bowl champion Brad Johnson is catching the attention of college coaches around the country.

Max Johnson, just a freshman at Oconee County High School near Athens, Ga., already has two scholarship offers from Florida State and Miami. Both were offered to Max as an eighth-grader.

The Class of 2020 lefthanded passer is 6-2, 187 pounds and scouted as a pro-style quarterback.

Miami coach Mark Richt, also Max’s uncle, told The Palm Beach Post his nephew is “a legitimate baller.” The Hurricanes were the first to offer Max in February 2016.

Florida State, where Brad played college football, offered Max a few months later.

The teenager’s first-ever tweet announced his offer from Miami, and in June he posted a photo with FSU coach Jimbo Fisher to announce the Seminoles’ offer.

“They told me that they were going to recruit me for me, and that my dad’s career was over and he can’t play anymore,” Johnson told Bleacher Report.

“Right now my focus is just leading my high school team and letting the future take care of itself.”

Max can learn a lot from his dad, who played 15 NFL seasons and won a Super Bowl with Tampa Bay in 2003. Brad was drafted by the Vikings in the ninth round of the 1992 draft and played five seasons in Minnesota sharing time as the starting quarterback. He was replaced by Randall Cunningham and traded to Washington where he spent two seasons before moving to Tampa Bay.

Brad led Tampa Bay to its first Super Bowl and earned his second Pro Bowl honor during the 2002 season.

He returned to Minnesota in 2005 and played two seasons with the Vikings before ending his career in Dallas.

Watch Bleacher Report's Max Johnson highlight reel for a glimpse of the family's new star quarterback: 

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