Sorry I?m a little late, work had me tied up! Here?s the preview to the 2016-2017 Boys Hockey Season!! Another great year of hockey is upon us!! Enjoy!
2016-2017 Pre-Season Top 20
1. Wausau West
-West returns for vengeance after not making state last year as one of the best teams. They return many players, and have a very deep team. Their returning powers Nick Techel and Kellen Theraldson will propel the Warriors to a state championship this season.
2. Appleton United
- The reigning State Champs will be thirsty for more gold when they hit the ice this year. They don?t return the POTY, but they do return Matthew Gruber and he and his line will help Appleton to a nice season this year. They also have a solid blue line, which will help them to be elite this year.
- The Cardinals will also be looking for a state berth after narrowly losing in the sectional championship last year. They return a lot of depth and they have a lot of spread out talent, making them a championship caliber team. Justin Engelkes and the Cards will have to fight through the difficult section 6, which will be no easy task.
- Ian Malcomson and his Wings will be a very strong team this year. With a ton of depth and a great blue line led by Wyatt Wilderman, Waukesha could easily take the state championship this year. Will be very exciting to watch.
- Hudson will once again be a very physical and up-tempo team this year. With a ton of returning talent, look for the Raiders to dominate this year and give any team a real run for their money.
6. Eau Claire Memorial
- Memorial lost a ton of talent last year, but they always seem to replenish. They have some good players and they have an always-deep team, and this will help them to be a threat this year, although not as powerful as past years.
7. Stevens Point
- Point will be strictly the Cole Caufield show, but this will be enough to make them a very scary team. Although not as deep as in previous years, Caufield will be a threat to any team he faces. They will need better goaltending to be a serious championship contender though.
8. Eau Claire North
- Eau Claire North, what a turnaround. After many years of being a very bad team, they have created a great program. With a team that has no prolific scoring, North will really depend on their physical game and their size. With a very deep team, look for the Huskies to finally beat Memorial this year.
- Antigo lost Alex Nagel and a talented senior group, but they have a new senior group who is very talented. They will have great goaltending and good scoring. The Red Robins could be a great team if they can pull everything together.
- The Red Rockets have had a good team the last few years, but they haven?t been able to compete when they need to be clutch. I see no reason for this to change, although they have some great scoring talent. If Neenah learns how to turn it on, they will be a very, very good team this year.
11. Madison Edgewood
- Although Edgewood loses Grant Reichenbacher to Juniors, they will still have enough talent to play some good teams very tough. They also need to replace goaltender Tommy Mohs, but the Crusaders will be in the discussion all year long.
- Onalaska relies on some good goaltending and some good talent up front, and it will be the same this year. They aren?t an overly deep team and have a very weak section, but they will once again make it to state and they seem to do very well in Madison, so watch out!
13. University School of Milwaukee
- Logan Geisness and Nick Epperson will propel USM to a very productive season this year, and their deep team will make them hard to beat. They are a strong team who always plays well under pressure, and this will be very useful when February comes around.
14. Bay Port
- Bay Port has been a pretty good team the last few years, and they will once again have a decent season. They aren?t overly skilled or deep, but the Pirates find ways to win games. They have an overly-strong section this year, but if they can play well, the sky is the limit.
- The loss of Brady Beekman will hurt the Warriors, but look for Waupun to be a very strong team once again this year.
HM1 Arrowhead: Arrowhead is a very inconsistent team, but they have a ton of talent. If they can pull together, they will be a very talented and hard team to beat
HM2 West Salem: The Panthers lost talent from last year, but Jack Gorniak and his crew will win some games and be a good Dark Horse team this year.
HM3 New Richmond: The Tigers are always deep, and have scoring threats, but they need to improve throughout the season to be a real threat to Hudson.
HM4 Sun Prairie: Sun Prairie has potential, and a lot of it. With some top scorers and Sam Dunn, a great goaltender, the Cards will have all the talent to be great. They just need to pull everything together.
HM5 Chippewa Falls: Jordan Steinmetz. Not much depth, but their leading scorer will help them to breach the top 20 this year.
#2 New Richmond
#8 Northwest Icemen
#9 River Falls
Hudson is a pretty clear favorite, and then 2-6 are a total toss up. It will all depend on the day and who shows up as they are all very good teams. Look for any of the top six at state this year.
#1 Eau Claire Memorial
#2 Eau Claire North
#3 Chippewa Falls
#5 Rice Lake
#7 Black River Falls
Eau Claire Memorial is no longer the power. The top three teams are all very good bets to head to Madison this year, and although struggling with depth, RL and Hayward still have some talent and will be serious dark horses.
#1 Wausau West
#2 Stevens Point
#4 Wisconsin Rapids
#5 DC Everest
#6 Northland Pines
#11 Wausau East/Merrill
Wausau West and Stevens Point will be two of the most potent teams in the state, and any of the next three teams could wreak havoc on the bracket. Very talented at the top.
#2 West Salem
#3 La Crosse Aquinas Avalanche
#5 Reedsburg/Wisconsin Dells
#7 La Crosse Logan
#11 Sauk Prairie
Onalaska and West Salem will be the sole teams fighting for a spot at State. Both have potent offenses but struggle defensively. Very weak section once again.
#1 Appleton United
#4 Bay Port
#6 Notre Dame Academy
#7 Fox Cities
#11 Green Bay United
What a section. Tons of depth on these teams and any of the top six teams could go to the Tournament. A little top heavy, especially from the top 4 teams, but look for any team, even Fox Cities, to cause a stir during playoffs.
#2 Madison Edgewood
#3 Sun Prairie
#6 Madison Memorial
#7 Madison West
#9 Monona Grove
#11 Madison La Follette/East
Always a tough section to pick, as the teams are so even and unpredictable. Look for Middleton to be on top, but any of the 2-5 teams could really have a good chance at upending each other or the top dog.
#7 WNS Storm
Waukesha should breeze through the section, and the middle is pretty evened out, so look for a big mix-up in playoffs.
#7 Fon Du Lac
#10 Fon Du Lac Springs
#12 Beaver Dam
Always a toss-up during playoffs, and once again a very even section. None of the teams are exceptionally good, but they all have very decent teams. This will be a very fun section to watch this season.
Player of the Year Top 12 Candidates:
1. Ian Malcomson (F) - Waukesha
2. Jordan Steinmetz (F) ? Chippewa Falls
3. Samuel Hanson (F) ? Eau Claire Memorial
4. Logan Geisness (F) - USM
5. Kellen Theraldson (D) ? Wausau West
6. Chase Blackmun (D) - Hudson
7. Sam Dunn (G) ? Sun Prarie
8. Dawson Schwengler (D) ? Eau Claire Memorial
9. Nick Epperson (F) - USM
10. Nick Techel (F) ? Wausau West
11. Michael Karow (D) ? Notre Dame Academy
12. Tyler Perkins (F) ? Janesville
Please feel free to discuss about the upcoming season! Thank you for Reading!