Minnesota tourney offers sneak peak beyond 2013

Novak - Tim Kolehmainen

While scouts will be flocking to St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center to check out members of the 2013 NHL Draft class, there’s the opportunity to go beyond.

In one of the biggest high school tournaments in North America, the opportunity presents itself to start compiling a book on players eligible for the 2014 and 2015 NHL Draft. Whether it be to catch a glimpse of the 2014 eligible Tyler Nanne or 2015′s Tom Novak, it’s never to early to start compiling books on the youngsters.

Dylan Malmquist (F)-Edina
24 GP, 18 G, 17 A, 35 PTS
2014 Draft Eligible

There are a lot of strong sophomores at this year’s tournament, but Malmquist leads the class. Malmquist has shown great chemistry with Hurley and really impressed early in the season against older competition in the Upper Midwest Elite League. A very intelligent and instinctive player, Malmquist consistently puts himself in position to make plays. Malmquist was Muskegon’s (USHL) first round selection in the 2012 Futures Draft and will push hard for the skilled forward to join Hurley for his draft year next season.

Tyler Nanne (D/F)-Edina
25 GP, 9 G, 10 A, 19 PTS
2014 Draft Eligible

Nanne could be considered the most versatile player in the state with his all-around ability. Head coach Curt Giles has played Nanne both on the right wing and as a defenseman this season, but will have Nanne playing defense at the tournament. Nanne is a tireless worker and brings an elite set of skills to the rink every night. Because of his offensive instincts, look for Nanne to skate with the puck as the Hornets break out of their end often.

Christiano Versich (F)-St. Thomas Academy
27 GP, 14 G, 23 A, 37 PTS
2015 Draft Eligible

Versich is one of the more exciting players to watch at this year’s tournament with a very high skillset for a sophomore. While undersized at five-foot-nine, Versich excels with great skating skills and puck poise. Versich also wowed on the national stage finishing tied for ninth in points at USA Hockey’s Select 15 Camp last July. Versich’s line of Tom Novak and Alex Johnson can put on a show offensively.

Tom Novak (F)-St. Thomas Academy
28 GP, 26 G, 27 A, 53 PTS
2015 Draft Eligible

Novak is one of two skilled St. Thomas sophomore forwards who are in the mix for an NTDP invitation later this month. Novak is an excellent skater, but needs to get stronger to continue to be effective. St. Thomas is a fun team to watch and Novak is one of the reasons. Novak had six points in five games at the Select 15 Camp this summer.

Matthew Freytag (F)-Wayzata
28 GP, 22 G, 13 A, 35 PTS
2015 Draft Eligible

Wayzata lacks a star player, but the sophomore Freytag is the closest thing viewers will find.  In his first year at high school hockey this season, Freytag has come a long way and lead the Trojans in points. Freytag has decent size for a sophomore and is strong with the puck on his stick. This is the last chance USHL teams will get to see Freytag before the 2013 Futures Draft where he is likely to be selected.

With Files from Dan Shrader.

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