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Here are 12 Columbus-area high school hockey players to watch in 2023-24 season

Three players from defending state champion Olentangy Liberty and two who have joined a high school team after playing at the AAA level highlight our 12 central Ohio hockey players to watch this winter.

Will Allman, New Albany

The senior forward joins the Eagles after playing for the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets Under-16 team. Several area coaches praised Allman during preseason interviews. His coach, Mike Buss, expects Allman to help New Albany contend for the regional and state titles. In 2022-23, Allman had three goals and eight assists in 64 games in 16U AAA, according to eliteprospects.com.

Olentangy Berlin's Chris Brennan (front)
Olentangy Berlin's Chris Brennan (front)

Chris Brennan, Olentangy Berlin

A senior defenseman, Brennan registered 28 goals and 35 assists a season ago. He was first-team all-CHC-Red, second-team all-CHC and honorable mention all-state.

Jason Davis, Upper Arlington

A junior forward, Davis had 11 goals and 22 assists last season. He helped the Golden Bears reach the district final, a game they lost to eventual state champion Liberty 10-1.

Olentangy Liberty's Jack Hamilton (right)
Olentangy Liberty's Jack Hamilton (right)

Jack Hamilton, Olentangy Liberty

A 6-foot-5 senior defenseman, Hamilton played a key role in the Patriots winning their first state championship, beating Hunting Valley University School 6-2 in the title game. He had 10 goals and 12 assists and was named second-team all-state. Hamilton missed the first two games this season with a shoulder injury.

2023-24 preview: Central Ohio teams chasing defending state champion Olentangy Liberty

Upper Arlington goalie Mason Herndon
Upper Arlington goalie Mason Herndon

Mason Herndon, Upper Arlington

Herndon, a sophomore goalie, has taken over the starting role this season after splitting time last winter with 2023 graduate Brady Hagkull. Last season, Herndon had a 2.58 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

Grant Levins, Olentangy

A junior center, Levins again is expected to be a key contributor for the Braves. Last season, he collected 17 goals and 30 assists and was honorable mention all-CHC.

Parker McDaniels, Olentangy Berlin

A senior, McDaniels had 10 goals and 26 assists last season and helped anchor the Bears’ defense. He was honorable mention all-CHC. McDaniels also plays football and baseball for Berlin. He has committed to play baseball at Cincinnati.

Evan Merna, Thomas Worthington

A senior goalie, Merna is in his first season with the Cardinals after playing for the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets for three seasons and with the Florida Alliance AAA program last season. He had 65 saves in a 4-1 loss to UA on Nov. 19.

Sean Moore, St. Charles

A senior forward, Moore collected 19 goals and 20 assists last season. He had two goals and an assist in a 4-2 win over Dublin Jerome on Nov. 18 and a goal and an assist in a 2-1 win over UA on Nov. 17.

Olentangy Liberty's Brian Savage
Olentangy Liberty's Brian Savage

Brian Savage, Olentangy Liberty

A senior center, Savage contributed to the Patriots’ state title pursuit last season, finishing with 27 goals and 22 assists. He was honorable mention all-CHC.

Jacob Schlade, Olentangy

The junior forward joins Levins in giving the Braves a solid 1-2 punch. Last season, Schlade recorded 29 goals and 18 assists and was first-team all-CHC-White.

Olentangy Liberty's Jake Struck
Olentangy Liberty's Jake Struck

Jake Struck, Olentangy Liberty

The junior forward had 31 goals and 59 assists last season and was second-team all-state and honorable mention all-CHC. He had three assists in Liberty’s win over University School in the state title game.

fdirenna@dispatch.com

@DispatchFrank

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Here are 12 central Ohio hockey players to watch in 2023-24