As players age, the mold of an offensive defenseman shrinks.
Players who routinely carry the puck 200 feet are suddenly running into bigger and stronger roadblocks, and the game takes on a more traditional flow and approach.
Someone forgot to tell Max Burkholder that the game changed.
Recently named the top defenseman of the 2003 Division at the World Selects Invitational in Philadelphia, Burkholder possesses a rare blend of speed and confidence with the puck and shows no hesitation when he believes he has the best chance to create a scoring opportunity by himself. As the season progressed, Burkholder began to embrace creativity with the puck and put on a chemistry clinic with forward Jimmy Snuggerud during the Stormhawks' (mild) surprise run to the Bantam AA state title game.
Burkholder was a Western Hockey League selection in the league's 2018 Bantam Draft and was picked in the third round by the Dubuque Fighting Saints during this year's USHL Phase I Draft. He is verbally committed to Colorado College.
|Year||Player||Team||NHL Draft Rights|
|2018||Brock Faber/Kyle Kukkonen||Osseo-Maple Grove||N/A|
|2015||Gavin Hain||Grand Rapids||Philadelphia|
|2014||Casey Mittelstadt||Eden Prairie||Buffalo|
|2013||Ryan Zuhlsdorf||Edina||Tampa Bay|