The first day of the 2012 NHL Draft in Pittsburgh on Friday, June 22, came and went without any current Minnesota high school players being selected.
Skjei circa 2009-2010
Brady Skjei, New York Rangers
Although no current high school players were taken, Minnesotan and former Lakeville North defenseman Brady Skjei was selected in the first round with the 28th overall pick by the New Nork Rangers.
Skjei led the Panthers to the 2010 state tourney with 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) in 30 games where the school lost to Minnetonka in the first round and fell to Duluth East in the consolation tourney.
The defenseman is comitted to the Gophers next season.
Dom Toninato squares off with Dylan Steman of Maple Grove after a faceoff. Photo by Helen Nelson
Dom Toninato, Toronto
Day two, on Saturday, June 23, yielded more skaters from the State of Hockey as five players left the board.
Former Mr. Hockey finalist Dom Toninato was the first of the crew to be taken as the Maple Leafs picked him with the fifth pick of the fifth round. Toninato had a fabulous season as a senior with Duluth East, scoring 73 points with 33 goals and 40 assists.
He was second on the team, and behind the Greyhounds other Mr. Hockey finalist and linemate Jake Randolph who finished with 78 points (37 goals, 41 assists).
Toninato is committed to play for Minnesota-Duluth but will play for the Fargo Force of the USHL next year before hitting the ice with the Bulldogs.
Logan Nelson, Buffalo
Next off the board was Logan Nelson, a center who grew up playing in the Rogers youth hockey system. Nelson spent last year with Victoria of the Western Hockey League where he scored 62 points (23 goals, 39 assists). The Coon Rapids native has decent size with a 6'1", 179 lbs frame and clearly knows his way around the offensive end.
Jake Bischoff, New York Islanders
Gophers commit and upcoming senior Jake Bischoff followed Nelson as the New York Islanders drafted the defenseman from Grand Rapids in the seventh round with the 185th pick.
Bischoff is following his father's footsteps to Minnesota after leading the Thunderhawks to a 19-7-0 record before bowing out in sections to Forest Lake. Bischoff is a productive defender, scoring 11 goals and picking up 29 assists last year for 40 total points.
5'11" and 178 lbs, Bischoff's solid frame helps him as a lockdown defender.
Grand Rapids defenseman Jake Bischoff (left) carries the puck in on the White Bear Lake goal on Saturday, Jan. 21. Photo by Adam Crane
Edina's Louie Nanne shoots the puck past a displaced Bloomington Jefferson goalie Grant Martens to score. Photo by Helen Nelson
Louie Nanne, Minnesota
Nanne was the old man, the grizzled vet, the wise and experienced forward on the youthful Hornets last year. As a junior, he scored 15 goals and added 12 assists including seven points in Edina's playoff run and at the state tourney.
Nanne, who is also committed to the Gophers, was a captain for the Hornets and a leader as Edina made a strong surge to the state tournament before being tipped late by eventual winner Benilde-St. Margaret's.
As part of hockey royalty in Minnesota (he is the grandson of former North Stars defenseman and later GM Lou Nanne and son of Wild scout Marty Nanne), it's no surprise that the Wild selected Nanne 188th overall, in the seventh round.
Just a junior last season, Nanne is foregoing his senior year with the Hornets to play for Penticton of the British Columbia Hockey League.
Judd Peterson of Duluth Marshall skates beside Conor Andrle of Breck. Photo by Helen Nelson
Judd Peterson, Buffalo
Peterson is a bit of a surprise pick, getting taken over many players from Minnesota ranked higher by the NHL Scouting rankings, but he has a ton of upside.
A Mr. Hockey finalist for Duluth Marshall last season, Peterson piled up the points (he finished with 83, including 47 goals and 36 assists) and turned himself around academically after having issues in the past. His hard work earned him a Division I scholarhip with St. Cloud State.
Peterson has serious scoring talent and this could be a nice sleeper for the Sabres who selected him with the 23rd pick in the seventh round.
Weight: 200 lbs.
Born: March 26, 1994
Weight: 165 lbs.
Born: March 9, 1994
Weight: 179 lbs.
Born: September 9, 1993
Weight: 178 lbs.
Born: July 25, 1994
Position: Left Wing
Weight: 162 lbs.
Born: June 18, 1994
Position: Right Wing/Center
Weight: 194 lbs.
Born: September 27, 1993
|Brady Skjei*||Lakeville North||D||1||28||New York Rangers||Skjei notched 22 points (4 goals, 18 assists) for the USA Under-18 team in Ann Arbor last year and is a promising D-man for the Rangers|
|Dom Toninato||Duluth East||C||5||126||Toronto||The Mr. Hockey finalist is the first MN high school player to be taken off the board|
|Logan Nelson*||Rogers||C||5||133||Buffalo||Nelson has a Coon Rapids birthplace, grew up playing in the Rogers youth hockey system but left to play AAA hockey and eventually major junior before he hit high school|
|Jake Bischoff||Grand Rapids||D||7||185||New York Islanders||Bischoff, a Gophers commit, is a solid defender who just finished his junior year with the Thunderhawks|
|Louie Nanne||Edina||LW||7||188||Minnesota||The Wild nab a part of the hockey family in MN. Nanne has a year of high school left|
|Judd Peterson||Duluth Marshall||C; RW||7||204||Buffalo||The Sabres take their second Minnesotan as the Mr. Hockey Finalist from Duluth Marshall gets taken.|
*Denotes did not play at the high school level through senior season