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Meet the Star Tribune preseason Dream Team and more hockey story lines

By David La Vaque, Star Tribune, 11/27/17, 8:15PM CST


Edina's Ben Brinkman and Sam Walker headline the group of six players who could give nightmares to opposing coaches.


All players seniors unless indicated. College commitment in parentheses.

Ben Brinkman, jr., D, Edina (Minnesota)

The Hornets’ captain as a sophomore last winter. Two-way defenseman who is accountable in all situations. Scored 12 goals last season.

Atticus Kelly, G, St. Thomas Academy (undecided)

Takes the full-time starting job after winning 15 games, stopping 93 percent of shots faced. Stands 6-2 and takes up a lot of net.

Mike Koster, jr., D, Chaska (Minnesota)

Intelligent offensive-defenseman who gets plays started by forcing turnovers, making a good first pass. Added 16 goals last season.

Lucas McGregor, F, Centennial (undecided)

Assistant coach Ted Cheesebrough told Breakdown Sports Media that McGregor, who scored 29 goals, is one of two Centennial players “who could shoot an apple off your goalie’s head from 100 feet away.”

Jack Perbix, jr., F, Elk River (Notre Dame)

Quick and deft hands fuel his playmaking prowess. Scored 17 goals, added 23 assists as a sophomore. Will see more opportunities this season.

Sam Walker, F, Edina (Minnesota)

Perhaps the fastest skater in Minnesota. Uses speed to create on offense (24 goals as junior), pressure the opposition into mistakes. Tallied four assists in top-ranked Hornets’ first two games.


College commitments noted in parentheses.

Jake Boltmann, soph. D, Edina (Minnesota)

Bryce Brodzinski, jr., F, Blaine (St. Cloud State)

Rob Christy, jr., F, St. Thomas Academy (Colorado College)

Garrett Daly, D, Lakeville North (Bowling Green)

Carl Fish, D, St. Paul Johnson

Ethan Haider, soph., G, Maple Grove

Chase Hamstad, F, White Bear Lake

Ben Helgeson, jr., F, Hill-Murray (Wisconsin)

Jack Jensen, jr., F, Eden Prairie (Minnesota)

Demetrios Koumontzis, F, Edina (Arizona State)

Luke Loheit, F, Minnetonka (Minnesota Duluth)

Brady Meyer, jr., F, North Branch (Minnesota-Duluth)

Jack Olsen, D, Lakeville South

Colin Schmidt, F, Wayzata (Minnesota)

Brady Ziemer, D, Holy Family Catholic (St. Cloud State)

Boys’ hockey news and notes: Coaching news, who’s tops in preseason polls

Two wins from 600
Duluth East coach Mike Randolph is two victories from becoming the fourth to reach 600 career victories in Minnesota high school hockey.

Rochester Mayo’s Lorne Grosso ranks first with 707 victories, followed by longtime friend Roy Nystrom of Albert Lea (705) and Edina legend Willard Ikola (616).

Randolph (598) is one of two active coaches nearing the mark. Bloomington Jefferson’s Jeff Lindquist has 589 career victories. Randolph’s Greyhounds open the season Friday at White Bear Lake.

Ex-Gopher Westrum to coach co-op
Fomer Apple Valley and Gophers standout Erik Westrum is the new coach of a co-op between Richfield and Southwest Christian, located in Chaska.

The Stars played mostly junior varsity games in 2016-17. The schools sit about 20 miles apart and will share facilities. Richfield had canceled its program before the 2015-16 season due to low numbers.

Westrum, a State Farm insurance agent, makes his high school coaching debut. As a player, he starred on Apple Valley’s 1996 Class 2A state championship team, notching a hat trick in the five-overtime semifinal game against Duluth East.

Parrish out at Orono
Former NHL standout Mark Parrish stepped down as Orono’s coach after two seasons. Will Scholz takes over with Parrish remaining as an assistant coach. Scholz announced the move on Nov. 23 via Twitter — 10 days after the season began. The Spartans are ranked third in the latest Let’s Play Hockey poll.

Edina, Hermantown atop polls
Class 2A power Edina and two-time defending Class 1A champion Hermantown are the top teams to start the 2017-18 season. Each placed No. 1 in the initial Let’s Play Hockey rankings. The Hornets seek a return to state after a two-season hiatus.

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Edina's Ben Brinkman skates the puck out of his zone. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine