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BHS: Last Month in Recruiting

By Peter Odney , 09/08/21, 12:15PM CDT

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Eight players made their verbal commitments in the month of August, including six from the 2005 age group.

Austin Burnevik 
Hometown: Ham Lake, Minn. 
2021-2022 Team: USNTDP U-17
College commitment: St. Cloud State 

Burnevik played his youth hockey for Blaine before moving on to Totino-Grace for high school. A skilled forward with a nose for the net and a knack for scoring goals, Burnevik led the Eagles in scoring as a sophomore last season with 19 goals and 41 points. He tallied 15 goals and 28 points as a freshman during the 2019-2020 season.

Burnevik was selected to this year's United States National Team Development Program Under-17 roster, one of five Minnesotans to accept invitations to the program.

Zam Plante
Hometown: Hermantown, Minn. 
2021-2022 Team: Hermantown High School 
College commitment: Minnesota Duluth

It's a strange phenomenon to have the verbal commitment one of the best 2004-born hockey players in North America make barely a ripple in the hockey world, but Plante's choice to continue his hockey journey with the Bulldogs was preordained almost 30 years ago. 

Plante's father Derek enjoyed a decorated hockey career with the Bulldogs, named a Hobey Baker Award finalist after the 1992-1993 season and then playing in nearly 500 games at the NHL level. Plante won a Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999. 

But the bloodlines don't stop there. 

Plante's mother Kristi was a star athlete at UMD in her own right, being named all-conference in softball and competing on the diamond and on the basketball court for the Bulldogs. Plante earned the Outstanding Female Senior Athlete award in 1995. 

In Zam's case, he led Hermantown in scoring as a sophomore in his first season of high school hockey with 29 goals and 61 points. He tied for third in scoring on this year's United States Hlinka Gretzky Tournament team with two goals and four points in four games. 

Jayson Shaugabay
Hometown: Warroad, Minn. 
2021-2022 Team: Warroad High School
College commitment: Minnesota Duluth  

Shaugabay helped the Warriors back to the Class A State Tournament after a 10-year drought during the 2019-2020 season, splashing onto the high school scene with a 30-goal, 72-point freshman season. After losing running mate Grant Slukynsky to graduation, Shaugabay shouldered more of the scoring load for the Warriors in 2020-2021, finishing with 24 goals and 54 points in the shortened season. 

Shaugabay was invited to the NTDP's U-17 tryout earlier this year, and was a first-round selection of the USHL's Phase I Draft this summer. The Green Bay Gamblers picked Shaugabay 11th overall. 


Warroad's Jayson Shaugabay has verbally pledged to play at UMD.

Cameron Briere
Hometown: Stillwater, Minn.
2021-2022 Team: Tri-City Storm (USHL)
College commitment: Nebraska Omaha 

A general unknown to the Minnesota hockey community, Briere was born in Stillwater, but has bounced around the Tier I scene in Canada and the United States in recent years. Briere spent the 2019-2020 season with the Mississauga Senators, based in Ontario, and in 2020-2021 totaled 27 goals and 46 points in 62 games for the Nashville Jr. Predators.

Like Shaugabay and Burnevik listed above, Briere was invited to try out for the NTDP's U-17 team. Briere showed well at this year's USA Hockey Section 16 National Camp, racking up five goals and nine points in five games. His nine-point total ranked third among all players.

Ty Hanson 
Hometown: Hermantown, Minn. 
2021-2022 Team: Hermantown High School
College commitment: Minnesota Duluth  

The defensive lynchpin on the latest crop of Hermantown Hawks to storm through the youth ranks, Hanson has matured into a savvy and smooth-skating defenseman that can handle primary duties on both the penalty kill and power play. Hanson tallied nine goals and 29 points in his first season of high school hockey for the Hawks and has long been thought of as one of the top 2005-born defenders in the country. Hanson will attempt to follow in a long line of Bulldog standouts in the blue line. 

Yet another NTDP invitee, Hanson is another player with familial ties to UMD. His father, Greg, appeared in 112 games over four seasons for the Bulldogs from 1992-1996.

Sam Rinzel
Hometown: Chanhassen, Minn. 
2021-2022 Team: Chaska High School 
College commitment: Minnesota

Rinzel is the second lengthy defender to have verbally committed to the Golden Gophers in the last few weeks, with his 6-foot-4 frame joining 6-foot-5 Max Rud as future blueliners in Dinkytown.

A product of the Chaska-Chanhassen youth program, Rinzel recorded eight goals and 25 points in 19 games last season for Chaska High School, and will participate in this fall's Upper Midwest High School Elite League for SIT Financial Services. 

He appeared in four games for the United States during this summer's Hlinka Gretzky Cup, and was selected to play in this year's USA Hockey Select 17 National Camp. 


Like his father Greg, Ty Hanson has verbally committed to Minnesota Duluth. (Photo from 2019-2020 season).

William Whitelaw
Hometown: Rosemount, Minn. 
2021-2022 Team: Shattuck St. Mary's Prep 
College commitment: Wisconsin

Whitelaw was a curious omission from this year's NTDP U17 roster, given that he was invited to the tryout and is considered one of the top 2005-born players in the country by scouts from virtually all upper levels of hockey.  

A rink rat that plays a heady game, Whitelaw transitioned to Shattuck-St. Mary's after playing for the Rosemount youth organization, and recorded 14 goals and 28 points in his first year with the Sabres. Whitelaw's numbers jumped to 31 goals and 85 points in his second season with SSM's 14U squad, and he had nine goals and 26 points for the Sabres' USHS Prep team that went 28-4-2 last season.

Whitelaw has made the decision to stay at SSM with the school's Prep team for the 2021-2022 campaign.

Kade Nielsen
Hometown: Burnsville, Minn. 
2021-2022 Team: Cedar Rapids (USHL)
College commitment: Minnesota State 

After two solid seasons at forward for Burnsville, Nielsen exploded in 2021, piling up 30 goals and 50 points in just 20 games for the Blaze during his senior campaign. 

In three varsity seasons, Nielsen totaled 66 goals and 127 points in 74 career games, and helped the Blaze to an appearance in the Class AA, Section 3 finals in 2020.  


William Whitelaw will return to the Shattuck-St. Mary's Prep team for the 2021-2022 season.

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