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Wild prospect Peterson wins Mr. Hockey Award

by Mike G. Morreale

Minnesota Wild prospect Avery Peterson of Grand Rapids High School was named the recipient of the 2014 Mr. Hockey Award on Sunday as the most outstanding senior boy's high school player in the state of Minnesota.

The Mr. Hockey Award is selected by a panel of judges, including scouts from the NHL and United States Hockey League, Division I and III coaches, and selected media members from around the state.

Other finalists for the award this year were Philip Beaulieu (Duluth East), Tyler Cline (Blaine), Spencer Naas (Benilde St. Margaret's), Tyler Nanne (Edina), Mitch Slattery (Hill-Murray), Steven Spinner (Eden Prairie), Luc Snuggerud (Eden Prairie), Nick Wolff (Eagan) and Zach Yon (Roseau).

Nanne, Slattery, Spinner, Snuggerud and Wolff are players ranked on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on June 27-28.

Peterson, a 2013 sixth-round pick (No. 167) of the Wild, will attend the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2014-15. The 6-foot-2.25, 201-pound left-handed center had 35 goals and 65 points in 25 games for Grand Rapids (17-8-0) this season.

Peterson's teammate in Grand Rapids, goalie Hunter Shepard, was also honored Sunday when he was awarded the Frank Brimsek Award as Minnesota's top senior goaltender. Shepard finished 17-8-0 with a 2.64 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in 2013-14.

Grand Rapids was eliminated from the state playoffs by Duluth East, 5-2, in the semifinal round of the Section 7AA tournament on Feb. 21 in Duluth. Peterson had the opening goal of the game and Shepard made 33 saves in defeat.

It marks the first time that the Mr. Hockey Award and Frank Brimsek Award recipients represent the same high school.

Snuggerud, a 6-foot-0.25, 180-pound left-shot defenseman, is the highest-rated player on Central Scouting's midterm list at No. 61. He had 17 goals and 39 points in 25 regular-season games this season. Spinner (5-11.5, 196), Snuggerud's teammate in Eden Prairie, is ranked No. 70 on the midterm list. The right wing was second in scoring behind Snuggerud with 38 points (eight goals) in 25 regular-season games.

Slattery, a 5-11.5, 185-pound left wing, is No. 67; Wolff (6-3.5, 200) is No. 97, and Nanne (5-10, 174), the grandson of former Minnesota North Stars general manager Lou Nanne, is No. 168.

Five of the past eight Mr. Hockey Award winners were taken in the first round of their respective drafts (Nick Bjugstad, 2010; Nick Leddy, 2009; Ryan McDonagh, 2007; David Fischer, 2006; Brian Lee, 2005). Aaron Ness, a defenseman from Roseau High School, was chosen in the second round (No. 40) by the New York Islanders after earning Mr. Hockey as a senior in 2008 and Kyle Rau of Eden Prairie High School was honored in 2011 before being drafted in the third round (No. 91) by the Florida Panthers.

Right wing Grant Besse, a 2013 fifth-round pick (No. 147) of the Anaheim Ducks, was the 2013 winner while starring for Benilde-St. Margaret's High School.


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