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BSM's Grant Besse picks Badgers

By Michael Murakami and Loren Nelson, MN Hockey Hub staff, 01/09/12, 10:51AM CST


Benilde-St. Margaret's junior forward accepts scholarship offer from Wisconsin

Benilde-St. Margaret's junior Grant Besse scored 30 goals and a freshman and 33 goals last season. Photo by Helen Nelson

Grant Besse

One of the most famous lines in state Bantam history was assembled in Wayzata.

Mario Lucia, Grant Opperman and Grant Besse formed the LOB line that amassed more than 300 points in 50-plus games and led Wayzata’s Bantam A juggernaut to a state title three years ago before splintering to all parts of the west metro.

Lucia stayed in Wayzata, where he was a dominant force for the Trojans through his junior season. Opperman headed to Breck, where as a senior he leads the top-ranked (Class 1A) and undefeated Mustangs (10-0-0) in scoring.

Besse, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound junior, found instant stardom at Benilde-St. Margaret’s. He scored 30 goals as a freshman, 33 as a sophomore and has 10 in 11 games for the No. 6 (Class 2A) Red Knights (8-3-0).

On Saturday he became the last of the trio to commit to a Division I college program, accepting a scholarship offer from Wisconsin. Lucia, who is playing junior hockey in British Columbia this season, has committed to play at Notre Dame while Opperman is headed to Dartmouth.

"They were the first college to ever approach me," said Besse, who also made unofficial visits to Bemidji State, St. Cloud State and Colorado College and had drawn interest from numerous East Coast schools. "I liked the coaches, I liked the arena and I liked the atmosphere."

Aiding in Besse's decision was the help from a current Wisconsin freshman and Benilde-St. Margaret's 2010 alumnus, Patrick Daly.

"With Daly there giving me some insight, that helped a lot," Besse said.

Besse added that family also played a large factor in the commitment.

"My family has a history in Wisconsin," Besse said. "My mom was born in Madison and my grandpa is from there, too."

Besse says he continues to stay in touch with Lucia, and he played on an Upper Midwest High School Elite League team with Opperman this fall. Now, however, he again is part of one of the state’s most explosive forward trios, joining Dan Labosky and T.J. Moore on a high-scoring Red Knights line. Labosky committed to play at Colorado College last week.

After scoring five points in a 7-0 victory over St. Louis Park, Besse, an assistant captain, leads the Red Knights in scoring with 30 points (10 goals, 20 assists) through 11 games. The big night also moved Besse into third on Benilde-St. Margaret's all-time scoring list with 132 points.

“I think clearly there is a very a deep and talented junior class in the state,” Benilde-St. Margaret’s coach Ken Paul said. “Out of all those players he probably has the best stick in the game. That’s what sets him apart.

“His hand are outstanding, the way he accept that pass and gets that shot off. And get shots off in all situations.”  

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2011-12 Minnesota High School Division I Recruits

Name High School Year Pos. College Verbal Commit
Spencer Bell Maple Grove Senior F Wisconsin Yes
Grant Besse Benilde-St. Margaret's Junior F Wisconsin Yes
Jake Bischoff Grand Rapids Junior D Minnesota Yes
Michael Brodzinski Blaine Junior D Minnesota Yes
Andrew Commers St. Thomas Academy Senior F RPI Yes
Jordan Gross Maple Grove Junior D Notre Dame Yes
Jake Guentzel Hill-Murray Junior F Nebraska-Omaha Yes
Blake Heinrich Hill-Murray Junior D Minnesota-Duluth Yes
Christian Horn Benilde-St. Margaret's Senior F Minnesota Yes
Adam Johnson Hibbing Junior F Minnesota-Duluth Yes
Justin Kloos Lakeville South Senior F Minnesota Yes
Dan Labosky Benilde-St. Margaret's Junior F Colorado College Yes
Vinni Lettieri Minnetonka Junior F Minnesota Yes
Eli May Eagan Senior D Minnesota State Yes
Will Merchant Eagan Senior F Maine Yes
Lou Nanne Edina Junior F Minnesota Yes
Grant Opperman Breck Senior F Dartmouth Yes
Judd Peterson Duluth Marshall Senior F St. Cloud State Yes
Matt Pohlkamp Brainerd Senior F Bowling Green Yes
Jake Randolph Duluth East Senior F Nebraska-Omaha Yes
Charlie Sampair Hill-Murray Senior F Minnesota-Duluth Yes
Joe Schuldt Minnetonka Senior D Michigan Tech Yes
Eric Schurhamer St. Thomas Academy Senior D Maine Yes
Dylan Steman Maple Grove Senior F Michigan Tech Yes
Jared Thomas Hermantown Senior F Minnesota-Duluth Yes
Dom Toninato Duluth East Senior F Minnesota-Duluth Yes
Hunter Warner Eden Prairie Sophomore D Minnesota State Yes
Sam Wolfe Eagan Senior D Maine Yes
Michael Zajac Eagan Senior F Princeton Yes