Minnesotas Mr Hockey

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Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey

The highest-scoring scholastic player in Minnesota for 2011-12, Lakeville South’s Justin Kloos, was named the 2012 Mr. Hockey Award recipient during a ceremony at the RiverCentre in St. Paul, Minn Sunday.

According to mnhockeyhub.com, Kloos finished with the 10th-highest point total in state history with 103 points, including 41 goals and 62 assists, in 31 games for the Cougars (21-9). The 5-foot-9, 177-pound Kloos, who notched a point in all but one game for Lakeville South this season, is committed to the University of Minnesota next fall.

Following the announcement, Kloos called winning Mr. Hockey "a remarkable honor" to those in attendance.

Kloos was not ranked on NHL Central Scouting’s midterm list of the top 210 North American skaters eligible for the 2012 Draft, June 21-22, at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.

As a junior, the native of Northfield, Minn., had 45 goals and 45 assists for 90 points. He finished his career with 238 points, which ranks 19th on the all-time scoring list. Described as a skilled forward, Kloos’ favorite NHL player is Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene. Some scouts have compared his style and skill set to Philadelphia Flyers forward Danny Briere.

The Mr. Hockey Award is given to the outstanding senior high school hockey player in the state of Minnesota and is selected by a panel of National Hockey League Scouts, Division I coaches and selected media members from around the state.

Interestingly, five of the last seven 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 overall) by the New York Islanders after earning Mr. Hockey as a senior in 2008 and Kyle Rau of Eden Prairie High School was honored last year before being drafted in the third round (No. 91) by the Florida Panthers.

Rau, who currently stars for the University of Minnesota, played a part in two Minnesota High School Class AA state hockey championships at Eden Prairie in 2009 and ’11. He also represented the United States at the 2012 World Junior Championship, tying for the team lead with two power-play goals and fifth with five total points.

Kloos closed out his career with a goal and one assist in a 2-1 victory over Moorhead High School in the state Class 2A third-place contest at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., on March 10. He also had a goal and one assist in his unseeded team’s 3-2 upset of top-seeded Duluth East in the quarterfinal round on March 7.

The top 10 finalists for the Mr. Hockey Award were Will Merchant of Eagan, Grant Opperman of Breck, Judd Peterson of Duluth Marshall, Jake Randolph of Duluth East, Charlie Sampair of Hill-Murray, Eric Schurhamer of St. Thomas Academy, Jared Thomas of Hermantown, Dom Toninato of Duluth East, Michael Zajac of Eagan and Kloos.

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