Roseville hockey player to showcase skills at NHL scouting event


Ryan Petersen

If you speak to any high school hockey player in Minnesota on what their plans are once they graduate, you’ll probably hear something along the lines of, “I want to play college hockey.”

The road to play hockey at the collegiate level can sometimes be a process. For some, they get the opportunity right out of high school. Others don’t receive an offer until they’ve been out of school for at least a year. If that’s the case, then the player is probably playing in a junior hockey league like the United States Hockey League or the North American Hockey League. 

More than 1,000 Minnesota natives have gone on to play NCAA Division-I hockey over the past eight years. That doesn’t include the student-athletes who play D-II or D-III hockey. 

That may be why the top high school prospects in Minnesota will meet at TRIA Rink in downtown St. Paul on Nov. 10 for the first boy’s Minnesota High School All Star Prospects Game.

For Hill-Murray senior Ryan Petersen, the event is a chance to showcase his talents on the ice in front of NHL, college and junior hockey scouts. The game is an official NHL Central Scouting event, and players were selected by a committee of scouts and college coaches from across the country.  

 

Family and future

Petersen, 18, started playing hockey at the age of 3 when he was in the mini-mites program, which introduces kids to the game of hockey. From there, he spent his youth hockey days playing for the Roseville Area Youth Hockey Association. 

“It’s quite an honor for Ryan to represent himself and his family name, and for us to have a Hill-Murray kid participate in the event,” said Hill-Murray hockey coach Bill Lechner. “He’s a good all-around player and deserves a chance at a good senior season, and opportunities after high school.”

Petersen is a defensive-defenseman — that means he’s someone who sticks close to the net while play is in the team’s defensive zone. He only recorded six assists in 25 reagular-season games last year, so he’s not flashy on the score sheet, but at 6-foot-3-inches, he’s someone who knows how to use his physicality to his advantage. 

The competitiveness within the hockey program at Hill-Murray is what helped Petersen grow as a player, along with all the programs during the offseason that Lechner sets up for his team.

“The boys push each other, not to sound arrogant, but there’s a lot of competitiveness at Hill. You gotta keep pushing because someone else wants Ryan’s jersey and he knows that, he’s lived it,” Lechner said. “Now he’s a senior, so he has to be the positive example for that.”

The goal with any team is to feel like a family, and no team will be successful just off a single individual. For Petersen, the Pioneers are his second family, not only when playing hockey, but also as an outlet. 

“When you play for so long it takes up alot of your time, especially when you come to Hill-Murray, where there’s a tight group of guys,” Petersen said. “It’s often like you’re going to see your second family when on the ice. It gets you away from school, away from the books for a little while.”

Just where Petersen will play college hockey is undetermined at this time, but he knows that he wants to stay in Minnesota and be close to his home in Roseville. Petersen has been talking to a couple coaches, and has started to build a relationship with Bemidji State University and Mankato State University. As of now, those are Petersen’s top two choices.

The All Star Prospects Game should be a good tune up for the upcoming season, considering players meet with coaches come the week of Nov. 12. Hill-Murray’s first game is Nov. 29 against Burnsville High School at Aldrich Arena — the puck drops at 7 p.m.  

 

–Lucas Ailport can be reached at roseville@lillienews.com.

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