A dozen southeastern Minnesotans selected for High Performance boys hockey festivals
Six of the top 2006-born and six of the top 2007-born boys hockey players from southeastern Minnesota have been chosen to compete in the Minnesota Hockey High Performance Festival in mid-April.
ROCHESTER — A dozen local high school hockey players have been selected to compete on Section 1 teams in the Minnesota Hockey High Performance spring programs.
Six southeastern Minnesotans have been selected to be part of the Section 1A/1AA team in the HP16s and six have been chosen for the HP17s team. Those teams will participate in the HP Spring Festival, against teams made up of top players in those age groups from the other seven sections around the state.
The HP Spring Festival is set for April 14-16. The top 54 players in those tournaments from each age group will be chosen to participate in the CCM High Performance Final 54 Festival April 21-23 in Plymouth, Minn.
The top players in the Final 54 Festivals will be chosen to go to Amherst, N.Y., in late June or early July to be part of the USA Hockey National Boys Select 16 or Select 17 Development Camp.
The Spring Festival and Final 54 Festival also provide an opportunity for players to be seen by junior, college and NHL scouts.
HP 17 invitees
The six local players selected for the Section 1 team in the HP17 Festival (the top 2006-born players from each section are:
• Xander Carter-Kleven, G, Lourdes: Carter-Kleven recently wrapped up his third season as a starting goalie for the Eagles. He has been the team’s primary starter the past two seasons after splitting time as a freshman in 2020-21. He played every minute in goal for Lourdes in 2022-23, against a challenging schedule and with a relatively young defensive corps in front of him. Carter-Kleven went 10-17-0 with a 3.93 goals-against average and an .897 save percentage this season. He also had two shutouts.
• Gryffon Funke, F, Dodge County: One of the more dynamic playmakers in the area, Funke has been a three-year regular for the Wildcats. He went from four goals and nine points as a freshman to a team-best 20 goals and 41 points in 2021-22 as a sophomore. This season, he was outstanding once again. Despite missing three-plus games early in the season, Funke finished with a team-high 31 goals, and he had 52 points. Funke is a strong skater who can create offense off the rush as well as set up his linemates.
• Frank Goodman, D, Mayo/Des Moines Buccaneers AAA: Goodman scored five goals and had 12 points in 2021-22 as a sophomore for Mayo, before moving on to Des Moines this season. The 5-feet-10, 174-pound left-shot defenseman had 17 points and 122 penalty minutes in 55 games for the Buccaneers 16U team this year.
• Colton Holzer, D, La Crescent-Hokah: Holzer was strong on both ends of the ice, playing forward and defense at times for the Lancers. He has 59 career high school points in 51 games. He’ll be a senior next season for the Lancers.
• Brett Ludvigsen, F, Dodge County: Another skilled playmaker from the Wildcats, Ludvigsen is good with the puck in tight spaces and has a sneaky-good and quick wrist shot. He used his speed and skill set to lead the Wildcats in assists (33), points (54) and short-handed goals (3) as a sophomore in 2022-23.
• Aven Prodzinski, F, Winona: Prodzinski, a sophomore, excelled at both ends of the ice, playing some defense for the Winhawks and finishing as their second-leading scorer this past season. He had 15 goals and 33 points, nearly half of which came on the power play. He was outstanding as a scorer or set-up man on the power play, recording seven goals and nine assists this season.
FULL SECTION 1 HP17 & HP16 ROSTERS
HP 16 invitees
The six local players selected for the Section 1 team in the HP16 Festival (the top 2007-born players from each section are:
• Oscar Balkins, F, Rochester/Windy City 15U AAA: Balkans, who turns 16 next month, spent this season playing for the Windy City Storm 15U team, which is based in the Chicago suburb of Palatine. The 5-foot-8, 160-pound left-shot left wing had 15 goals and 32 points in 57 games for the Storm this season.
• Jackson Bielenberg-Howarth, D, Dodge County: Another member of Rochester’s Bantam AA team — which was coached by former Lourdes head coach Josh Spaniol — Bielenberg-Howarth has good size (listed at 5-9, 165) and can use it to his advantage. Like Desjardins, Bielenberg-Howarth played AAA hockey with the Minnesota Gray Ducks and Minnesota Moose over the past two years. He also played in the Bantam Elite League each of the past two seasons.
• Dawson Desjardins, G, Mayo: Desjardins was half of a one-two punch in goal for Rochester’s excellent Bantam AA team in 2022-23, along with Anton Ackely. Desjardins has also played a good amount of AAA hockey over the past two years, with the Minnesota Gray Ducks in his 14U season and with the Minnesota Moose in his 15O year.
• Ole Fevold, F, John Marshall: Fevold stepped right into the Rockets’ lineup as a sophomore and looked like a varsity veteran, after playing for the Rochester AA Bantam team a year ago. He was a key piece of a JM team that was undermanned — the Rockets didn’t put a full lineup on the ice after the first month of the season — yet finished 14-11-1 overall. Fevold was second on the team in goals (16), assists (21) and points (37).
• Gavin Kor, F, Rochester/Shattuck St. Mary’s: The Rochester native is in New Jersey this week with Shattuck’s 15O team to play in the USA Hockey national championships. In his third season at Shattuck, Kor averages nearly a point per game. He enters this week’s national tournament with 12 goals and 29 points in 31 games played. A right-shot forward listed at 5-feet-6, 150 pounds, Kor has 58 goals and 134 points in 133 career games at Shattuck.
• Jeremiah Peterson-Gordon, D, Dodge County: JPG — if he doesn’t have that nickname, or “JPEG” yet, he should — was a standout on the back end for the Wildcats as a freshman. He finished fifth on the team in scoring, with five goals and 14 points. Peterson-Gordon has a great size/speed combination, listed at 5-feet-11, 170 pounds.