Grand Rapids senior Jake Bischoff was named the winner of the inaugural Reed Larson Award, presented to the top senior boys’ high school hockey defenseman in Minnesota, according a Let's Play Hockey media release.
A stalwart on the blue line as well as an offensive force, Bischoff averaged more than a point a game during his career with 24 goals and 70 assists for a total of 94 points in 71 career games. This season, he posted totals of 8-17--25 in 19 games in an injury-shortened season for the Thunderhawks. Bischoff helped his Grand Rapids team to two Section 7AA finals during his high school career.
A captain this season and the Thunderhawks’ winner of the Hobey Baker Award, Bischoff is also a finalist for the 2013 Mr. Hockey Award. He committed to the University of Minnesota in 2011 and was drafted by the New York Islanders last year.
“Jake is a complete player,” Grand Rapids head coach Bruce LaRoque said. “Without a doubt, he has the physical tools and the mental capability to play at higher levels. His impact while on the ice is immediately noticed both in games and in practice. He is both a smart player and a hard worker who is constantly elevating the play of those around him.”
Off the ice, Bischoff owns a 3.878 GPA and is a member of the school’s captain’s council. He was awarded the Academic Excellence Award for Mathematics and is a member of the math team at Grand Rapids High School. Outside of the classroom, Bischoff is involved in the local Grand Rapids youth hockey program where he frequently gives his time coaching young players.
“Jake has always carried himself well in our school and the community,” LaRoque said. “His treatment of others speaks for itself. He has always been a part of ensuring that others get the help they need. There are nothing but positive things to say about this kid.”
Bischoff is also the catcher on the Grand Rapids baseball team. He made the team as an eighth grader and has been a key part of the team’s success. Last year, the Thunderhawks took third at the state tournament. Bischoff batted .435 and led the team in home runs and RBI.
Even with a busy life of school, hockey and coaching, Bischoff still finds time to be with his family. During his sophomore year, his mother passed away after battling cancer. She was an avid member of the Grand Rapids hockey and baseball community.
The inaugural Reed Larson Award will be presented by its namesake at the Class 2A State Tournament Banquet at 7 p.m., on Wednesday, March 6 at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium.
The award, presented to the top senior boys’ high school hockey defenseman in Minnesota, is based on the following criteria: academics, community/extracurricular activities, citizenship, coachability and, of course, on-ice performance.
The other finalists for the award were Ryan Bittner (Crookston), Tony Bretzman (St. Thomas Academy), Chris Forney (Thief River Falls), Matt Koch (Hastings), Meirs Moore (Duluth East), Matt Nelson (Edina), Tanner Okeson (Roseau), Parker Reno (Edina), Jimmy Schuldt (Minnetonka), Tommy Vannelli (Minnetonka) and Jake Zeleznikar (Hermantown).