The Minnesota Minutemen announced their top 10 finalists for the 2013 Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award, and to the surprise of no one, Wisconsin recruit Grant Besse headlined the list.
The Mr. Hockey Award is given to the outstanding senior high school boys hockey player in the state of Minnesota and is selected by a panel of National Hockey League Scouts, Collegiate Division I coaches and selected media members from around the state.
Past Wisconsin Badgers to win the award include Tom Gorowsky (2004) and Ryan McDonagh (2007).
A right-winger for Benilde-St. Margaret's high school, Besse is one of the most decorated high school players in recent memory. The Wisconsin recruit was well known going into his junior season, but reached rock-star status after his performance in the Minnesota state hockey tournament last spring.
In the AA title game against rival Hill Murray High School, Besse scored all five of his teams goals -- including three short-handed -- in a 5-1 victory to clinch the title for Benilde.
Besse finished last season with 52 goals and 93 points, and he has already accumulated 38 goals and 58 points as a senior. Among the players announced for the award, Besse has recorded six more points and 13 more goals than any other finalist.
Besse originally committed to Wisconsin for the 2014 season but signed a letter of intent this past fall, which indicates that Mike Eaves and the Wisconsin coaching staff are looking to bring him in straight out of high school.
While Besse is the odds-on favorite to win the award, he faces tough competition this year. Seven of the 10 finalists for the award are committed to D1 colleges, including Besse's linemate Dan Labosky, who is committed to Colorado College.
The 29th annual Mr. Hockey awards banquet will be held March 10th, one day after the Class A and Class AA champions are crowned at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
2012-13 Mr. Hockey Finalists:
Grant Besse--F--Benilde-St. Margaret's (Committed to Wisconsin)
Jake Bischoff--D--Grand Rapids (Committed to Minnesota)
Jake Jackson--F--Tartan (Committed to Michigan Tech)
Adam Johnson--F--Hibbing (Committed to Minnesota-Duluth)
Dan Labosky--F--Benilde St. Margaret's (Committed to Colorado College)
Zach Lavalle--F--Hill Murray
Parker Reno--D--Edina (Committed to RPI)
TJ Roo--F--Totino Grace
Tommy Vannelli--D--Minnetonka (Committed to Minnesota)
For more Wisconsin hockey coverage, follow Andy on Twitter (@AndyJohnsonB5Q)
You can also reach Andy via e-mail (AndyJohnsonB5Q@gmail.com)