Sammy Nelson has joined elite company today.
With the announcement that the younger brother of Maple Grove hockey standouts Henry and Danny, the youngest Nelson joins three other Leafbird products as winners of the prestigious Wiz Wyatt Award.
Nelson played a key role in the Leafbirds' offense, rating as one of the team's leading scorers and helping the group to 248 goals in 49 games, an average of 5.06 goals per contest.
In the Leafbirds' run to a fourth-place finish at the 2022 Peewee AA State Tournament, Nelson recorded five goals and 10 points during Region and State play, with his seven points during Regions tops on the team.
Away from the rink, Nelson excels on the baseball field and in the classroom. He carries a 3.72 GPA at Maple Grove Middle School and competes for the AAA Osseo-Maple Grove Storm baseball program.
"Sammy is an exceptional talent and consistently the hardest working player whether it is practice, off-ice training or games, Osseo-Maple Grove Peewee AA coach Scott Alexander said.
"Even more impressive, Sammy is an outstanding person who leads through the examples he sets on and off the ice."
Nelson led the Leafbirds in scoring with seven points during Region play.
Luca Jarvis, Stillwater
|Sammy Nelson||Osseo-Maple Grove|
Wyatt Cullen, Moorhead
2019 Winner - Drew Stewart
|2017||Brody Lamb||Dodge County|
|2016||Kyle Kukkonen||Osseo-Maple Grove|
|2016||Landen Gunderson*||Osseo-Maple Grove|
|2015||Matt Gleason||St. Paul|
|2014||Brock Faber*||Osseo-Maple Grove|
|2013||Jack Olsen||Lakeville South|
2021 Wiz Wyatt Award winner AJ Francisco of Hermantown
Each year YHH watches hundreds of games, hosts tournaments all over the state, and collects some great information on thousands of players. There are so many great stories of so many great kids.
In 2013, we began handing out the Wiz Wyatt Player of the Year Award as a way to recognize players for athletic, academic and leadership achievement. Our criteria for the award is pretty simple.
The award is NOT given to the best player in the state. When you read the accomplishments of Wiz Wyatt, you will see that he was a rare and talented athlete who was respected both on the field, in the locker room and in the classroom. I was fortunate to have been coached by Wiz, and he was a tremendous balance of teacher, mentor and friend.
Wiz Wyatt was a highly-decorated three-sport star at Minneapolis West in the early 1970's. After graduating from West, he went on to Harvard and played hockey for the Crimson for his collegiate career. Post-graduation, Wiz coached youth hockey in Minneapolis and Edina both as a non-parent and parent volunteer. He currently lives in Edina with his wife Jane and is the father of four adult children Susan, Mary, Michael, and Jessie.