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Badger Hockey Recruit Review: Grant Besse, Benilde-St. Margaret's

The Badger Hockey Recruit Review will run every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the next five weeks. Today, we feature Grant Besse from Benilde-St. Margaret's high school.

Photo Credit: BSM Athletic Communications
Benilde-St. Margaret's (High School)
Plymouth, Minn.

Statistics Verbal Commitment

When it was announced that Wisconsin would be moving to the new Big Ten Hockey conference along with Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State, many wondered what it would do for the Badgers' recruiting ability in the state of Minnesota. Grant Besse may have answered some of those initial questions when he pulled the trigger, committing to Mike Eaves and Wisconsin in January 2012.

"I felt a strong connection with the coaching staff as well as Wisconsin's rich tradition and history that includes six national championships," Besse told Bucky's 5th Quarter after his commitment. "Also, I look forward to playing in the Big Ten Conference.

"Along with the strong academics and city life at Wisconsin, I felt that this was the best fit for me."

A Plymouth, Minn., native who played four seasons with Benilde-St. Margaret's high school, Besse has some family history in Wisconsin, as his mother was born in Madison.

In addition to Wisconsin, Besse also visited Colorado College, St. Cloud State and Bemidji State while receiving significant interest from a number of schools on the East Coast.

Statistics Coach Comments

Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves on Besse (November, 2012):

"Grant Besse is a little bit more high profile. He's a preseason favorite to win Mr. Hockey in the state of Minnesota. As a junior last year, he led the state in scoring and led his team to the state championship. He is very skilled, sees the ice well, can shoot, handles the puck and has great vision. He'll bring a lot of offensive tools to the shelf."

Eaves after Besse won Mr. Hockey (March, 2013):

"We watched him at the beginning of last year and saw teams run him a couple times," Eaves told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "He got right back up and competed. That gave us a real read on his heart and his character."

Benilde-St. Margaret's head coach Ken Pauly on Besse after being named Star Tribune Metro player of the year (March, 2013):

"He reached another level this season," Pauly told the Star Tribune. "He put himself on the list of the greatest to ever play."

Pauly on Besse after winning Mr. Hockey (March, 2013):

"Grant gets it on a number of different levels," Pauly told the Pioneer Press. "He is a throwback. He is what high school hockey should be all about, what it could be about. If more people embraced that philosophy, these kids would stick around. His character and commitment are off the charts."

Statistics Scouting Report

Besse has many skilled facets to his game, but there's no question his shooting ability is what makes the Benilde-St. Margaret's forward stand out. Besse has a quick release and the ability to get his shot off even with defenders draped all over him. Wisconsin has lacked pure goal scorers recently, but Besse should help fill that void when joins the club next fall.

He's not overly physical, but Besse did play more aggressive with his body last season. He's not afraid to give and receive contact when necessary. While he's not a burner, Besse is a fluid skater, and his intelligence and anticipation always seem to put him in the right spots to make plays.

Even though he's left-handed, Besse enjoys playing on the right wing, where he can open up on the weak side to unleash his shot. Given that Wisconsin is so left-hand dominant, I'd expect Besse to continue playing on the right side next season for the Badgers.

Florida Panthers scout Fred Bandel on Besse (March, 2013):

"There’s no question he’s made progressions in his game," said Bandel, adding that the shot that made Besse one of the state’s best goal-scorers is already ahead of the curve.

"He’s got a NHL-caliber shot," Bandel said. "It’s not only the speed and quickness, it’s how he hides the release point. It’s very tough for goalies to react. You can’t teach that."

Statistics Statistics

2012-13: 28 games, 48 goals, 28 assists, 76 points, 16 PIM, +51

2011-12: 31 games, 52 goals, 41 assists, 93 points, 22 PIM, +31

2010-11: 27 games, 33 goals, 20 assists, 53 points, 18 PIM, +30

2009-10: 27 games, 30 goals, 20 asissts, 50 points, 12 PIM, +21

Honors Honors

-- Minnesota Mr. Hockey (March, 2013)

-- Associated Press Player of the Year (March, 2013)

-- 2011-12 Minnesota Class AA State Champion

Press Clippings Recent Press

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Meet Mr. Hockey: Grant Besse

Pioneer Press: Mr. Hockey Award goes to Grant Besse of Benilde-St. Margaret's

Pioneer Press: Benilde's Grant Besse 'special on and off the ice'

Bucky's 5th Quarter: Besse the Badger

Multimedia Audio / Video

Multimedia Twitter


More Info Additional Info

Besse will be remembered as one of the best high school players in Minnesota history. His 163 career goals rank fifth all-time in state history, and his 272 points rank him seventh.

While his career numbers will keep him in the record books, he'll forever be known as the kid who had the best state championship game of all time. As a junior in the AA title game vs. Hill-Murray, Besse registered all five of his team's goals -- including three short-handed -- in a 5-1 victory. Besse finished the tournament with eight goals and 11 points in three games.

Besse originally committed to the Badgers for 2014, but the Wisconsin coaching staff later decided to bring him in a year early after his brilliant high school career at Benilde-St. Margaret's.

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