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NHL mines Minnesota

By Minnesota Hockey Coaches Association, 07/01/13, 7:15PM CDT


Draft haul includes 13 players with ties to state high school programs

Edina's Connor Hurley, center, was the first Minnesota high school player selected in the NHL Draft on Sunday. Photo by Brian Nelson

Six players who spent the 2012-13 season with their Minnesota high school team and seven other players who played high school hockey in Minnesota were selected in the seven-rounds of the National Hockey League draft, held June 30 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Topping the list was Connor Hurley, who led Edina to the 2013 state Class 2A title. He was taken with the eighth pick in the second round, 38th overall, by the Buffalo Sabres.

Minnetonka defenseman Tommy Vannelli was the next to be selected as he was chosen by the St. Louis Blues with the 17th pick of the second round, 47th overall. The Blues have a history with Minnesota high school products, including current captain David Backes of Spring Lake Park and Warroad graduate T.J. Oshie.

The fifth round featured seven players with Minnesota ties, beginning with 2011 East Grand Forks graduate Tucker Poolman, taken by the Winnipeg Jets with the sixth pick of the round, 127th overall.

Burnsville defenseman Teemu Kivihalme went with the 19th pick, 140th overall, to the Nashville Predators, who recently added longtime Stillwater head coach Phil Housley to its staff.

Benilde-St. Margaret’s right wing Grant Besse, the 2013 Mr. Hockey Award winner, was chosen by the Anaheim Ducks with the 26th pick, 147th overall.

He was followed by 2011 Blaine graduate Jonny Brodzinski, the 148th overall selection, who was selected by the Los Angeles Kings with the 27th pick of the fifth round.

The final player selected from the 2012-13 class of Minnesota seniors was Tartan center Jake Jackson, selected 20th in the seventh round, 201st overall, by the San Jose Sharks.

Grand Rapids center Avery Peterson, a senior in 2013-14, was selected with the 16th pick of the sixth round, 167th overall, by the Minnesota Wild.

Five of the 10 Minnesota 2013 high school alums were also finalists for the Mr. Hockey Award, including Besse.

San Jose selected three of the 13 Minnesota high school products, including Jackson, Michael Brodzinski (Blaine, 20th in the 5th round, 141st overall) and Gage Ausmus (East Grand Forks, 30th in the 5th round, 151st overall).

Los Angeles also selected multiple Minnesota high school alums, selecting Jonny Brodzinski after taking Apple Valley’s Hudson Fasching with the 27th pick of the fourth round, 118th overall.

In addition to the six 2013 graduates taken in this year’s draft, Grand Rapids defenseman Jake Bischoff was selected in the 2012 draft, fourth in the seventh round, 185th overall, by the New York Islanders.

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2013 NHL Draft: Minnesota High School Alums

Round Pick Overall Player Position Height Weight High School Team
2 8 38 Connor Hurley C 6-1 174 Edina Buffalo
2 17 47 Tommy Vannelli D 6-2 165 Minnetonka St. Louis
3 16 77 Jake Guentzel C 5-9 153 Hill-Murray Pittsburgh
4 27 118 Hudson Fasching RW 6-1 213 Apple Valley Los Angeles
5 6 127 Tucker Poolman D 6-2 199 East Grand Forks Winnipeg
5 19 140 Teemu Kivihalme D 5-11 161 Burnsville Nashville
5 20 141 Michael Brodzinski D 5-11 190 Blaine San Jose
5 23 144 Blake Heinrich D 5-10 194 Hill-Murray Washington
5 26 147 Grant Besse RW 5-9 177 Benilde-St. Margaret’s Anaheim
5 27 148 Jonny Brodzinski C 6-0 202 Blaine Los Angeles
5 30 151 Gage Ausmus D 6-0 211 East Grand Forks San Jose
6 16 167 Avery Peterson C 6-2 194 Grand Rapids Minnesota
7 20 201 Jake Jackson C 5-11 182 Tartan San Jose