Advertisement

11 local players moving on in Minnesota Hockey spring development programs

Apr. 24—(Editor's note: The boys and girls High Performance 14s and 15s Festivals are scheduled for this weekend. Local players selected for those showcases were highlighted last week in

this article

.)

Eleven local hockey players have proved to be among the best in the state in their age group.

Here's a look at six boys and five girls who advanced from last week's first round of Minnesota Hockey's High Performance spring program and will play again this weekend:

CCM NIT — TEAM MINNESOTA SENIORS

The annual High School National Invitation Tournament is held Thursday through Sunday at Plymouth Ice Arena. It features two all-star teams from Minnesota — the Minnesota Seniors (current high school seniors) and the Minnesota 18s (current high school juniors with 2006 birth years) — as well as top teams in the same age groups from North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Colorado.

The eight teams are divided into two pools. They'll play once each day against teams in their pool, then cross-bracket in Sunday's placewinner games.

A full schedule of this weekend's NIT can be found at

MinnesotaHockey.org

.

—Wyatt Farrell, La Crescent-Hokah: The Lancers forward is the 2024 Post Bulletin All-Area Player of the Year after leading the state in goals (52) and points (92) during the high school season. He finished his five-year prep career in a tie with Little Falls native Ben Hanowski as the state's all-time leading goal scorer (196). Farrell had three goals and an assist over four games for the Section 1&3 Seniors team at last weekend's Great 8.

—Gryff Funke, Dodge County: Funke helped the Wildcats reach the Section 1, Class 1A championship game for the second time in four years this winter. He finished second on the team and tied for 10th in the state with 74 points. He led Dodge County with 44 goals, the fifth-most in the entire state. He tied for the Section 1&3 team scoring lead at the Great 8, with one goal and four assists.

—Noah Gillette, La Crescent-Hokah: Gillette was as key to the Lancers' success this winter as Farrell. Gillette, an Onalaska, Wis., native who transferred to La Crescent-Hokah last summer, was second in the state this winter with 86 points (trailing only teammate Farrell). He was third in the state with 47 goals and tied for 11th with 39 assists. He had one goal and two assists in four games at last weekend's Great 8.

—Kamden Kaiser, Northfield: The powerful, high-scoring forward has tendered with the Austin Bruins of the NAHL. Kaiser showed off his terrific shot at last weekend's Ted Brill Great 8 Festival, scoring four goals in four games. He finished his senior season with 37 goals and 57 points, and helped Northfield win a second consecutive Section 1, Class 1A championship.

CCM NIT — TEAM MINNESOTA 18s

—Brett Ludvigsen, Dodge County: Another southeastern Minnesotan who lit up the scoresheet this winter, Ludvigsen didn't shy away from some outstanding competition at last weekend's Great 8. The speedy forward had a goal and two assists in four games and impressed with his all-around game. The junior finished eighth in the state this season with 77 points and was second in Minnesota with 48 assists, behind only current Austin Bruin John Hirschfeld of St. Cloud Cathedral (56 assists).

------HIGH PERFORMANCE 17s FINAL 54

The Boys High Performance 17s Final 54 tournament features three teams of the top players from around the state (54 players total) with 2007 birth years. The three 18-player teams were selected after last weekend's HP 17s Spring Festival, which featured eight teams — one from each section in the state — of 20 players each.

The HP 17s Final 54 runs Friday through Sunday in Plymouth. A select number of players will be picked to compete in this summer's USA Hockey U17 National Player Development Camp.

A full Final 54 schedule can be found at

MinnesotaHockey.org/HighPerformance

.

—Jaxon Johnson, Oronoco: Johnson, a 5-foot-9, 165-pound, 16-year-old defenseman grew up in Oronoco and played this past season for the 16U AAA team at Northstar Christian Academy in Alexandria. Johnson, a sophomore, played for the Section 1 team at last weekend's HP17s Spring Festival, where he had one assist in three games. He had four goals and 11 assists, for 15 points, in his first season at Northstar.

HIGH PERFORMANCE 17/18s FINAL 54

The Girls High Performance 17/18s Final 54 tournament features three teams of the top players from around the state (54 players total) with 2007 birth years. The three 18-player teams were selected after last weekend's HP 17/18s Spring Festival, which featured eight teams — one from each section in the state — of 20 players each.

The HP 17/18s Final 54 runs Friday through Sunday at Doug Woog Arena in South St. Paul. A select number of players will be picked to compete in this summer's USA Hockey U18 or 16/17 National Player Development Camps.

A full Final 54 schedule can be found at

MinnesotaHockey.org/HighPerformance

.

—Nora Carstensen, Dodge County: A leader of the Wildcats' talented junior class, Carstensen was eighth in the state this winter with 35 goals and tied for 14th with 58 total points. She helped the Wildcats win the first section championship in program history and advance to the Class 1A state championship game. She'll enter her senior season with 144 points and plenty of attention from Division I scouts. She had one goal across three games at last weekend's HP17/18s Spring Festival. Carstensen will play for Team Black at this weekend's Final 54. The team will practice at 7 p.m. Friday and play its first game at 10:10 a.m. Saturday.

HIGH PERFORMANCE 16s FINAL 54

The Girls High Performance 16s Final 54 tournament features three teams of the top players from around the state (54 players total) with 2008 birth years. The three 18-player teams were selected after last weekend's HP16s Spring Festival, which featured eight teams — one from each section in the state — of 20 players each.

The HP16s Final 54 runs Friday through Sunday at Doug Woog Arena in South St. Paul. A select number of players will be picked to compete in this summer's USA Hockey U16/17 National Player Development Camp.

A full Final 54 schedule can be found at

MinnesotaHockey.org/HighPerformance

.

—Maysie Koch, Dodge County: Just a freshman, Koch has already exceeded the 100-point total (52-66 — 118) for her high school career and has already raised the eyebrows of college coaches. With three varsity seasons remaining, a 300-point career isn't out of the question. More important to Koch, though, is helping the Wildcats win another section championship next season. She had one goal and one assist in three games at last weekend's HP16s Spring Festival. Koch will play for Team Blue this weekend. It will practice at 2:20 p.m. Friday and play its first game at 11:50 a.m. Saturday.

—Kylie Meyer, Dodge County: The sophomore was a top-4 defender for the Section 1, Class 1A champion Wildcats, playing close to half the game many nights. She finished the 2023-24 season with three goals and 15 assists, for 18 points. Meyer didn't have a point at last weekend's HP16s Spring Festival, but her play in the defensive zone stood out. Meyer will play for Team Black this weekend, which will practice at 3:30 p.m. Friday and play its first game at 11:50 a.m. Saturday.

—Bryn Spreiter, Dodge County: Just a freshman, Spreiter was a mainstay in the Wildcats lineup, recording five goals and 12 points as Dodge County advanced to the Class 1A state championship game. She already has two-plus seasons of varsity experience, having practiced and dressed some as a seventh-grader. She'll enter her sophomore season with 10 goals and 21 career points. Spreiter will play for Team Black this weekend, which will practice at 3:30 p.m. Friday and play its first game at 11:50 a.m. Saturday.

—Alexa Van Straaten, Dodge County: The Byron High School sophomore had a goal and an assist across three games at last weekend's HP16s Spring Festival, showing the 200-foot game that made her so effective for Dodge County this season. She recorded seven goals and 18 points for the Wildcats, tying senior Abby Simons for the most goals by a defender on the team. Van Straaten will play for Team Blue this weekend. It will practice at 2:20 p.m. Friday and play its first game at 11:50 a.m. Saturday.