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2023 Bantam Player of the Year: AJ Francisco

By YHH Staff, 04/19/23, 12:45PM CDT


A past Wiz Wyatt Player of the Year winner as a Peewee, Francisco has taken his game to new heights as a Bantam.

2023 Bantam Player of the Year - AJ Francisco

Polish and poise are the hallmarks of yet another Hermantown standout

Francisco is one of the more polished players at the Bantam AA level this season, combining his natural traits of speed and power with those hard-to-describe intangibles, the ones that have been used so often they're more cliche-y than cliches. 

Hockey IQ, hockey sense, heady player, ad nauseam. 

And while it's true that finding soft spots on the ice and showing an unmistakable understanding of hockey physics are strong attributes of Francisco's, but they shouldn't overshadow his raw hockey ability. 

Francisco factored into seven (three goals, four assists) of the Hawks' nine goals during North Region play, in which they eventually fell to Duluth East in the consolation bracket.

In November, Francisco tied for the Battle for the Blue Ox scoring leader with five goals and 11 points, helping the Hawks to a 3-2 record over the weekend. 

2023 Bantam Player of the Year Finalists

Tyden Bergeson, Moorhead

Player Team
Tyden Bergeson Moorhead
AJ Francisco Hermantown
Logan Lutner Osseo-Maple Grove
Casey Vandertop Edina
Zac Zimmerman Moorhead

Casey Vandertop, Edina

Bantam Player of the Year Past Winners

Year Player Team College Commitment
2022 Sam Laurila Moorhead Undecided
2021 Teddy Townsend Eden Prairie Minnesota
2020 Zam Plante Hermantown Minnesota Duluth
2019 Max Burkholder Chaska Chanhassen Colorado College
2018 Kyle Kukkonen Osseo-Maple Grove Michigan Tech
2018 Brock Faber Osseo-Maple Grove Minnesota
2017 Jake Braccini Buffalo St. Thomas
2016 Ethan Frisch Moorhead North Dakota
2015 Gavin Hain Grand Rapids North Dakota
2014 Casey Mittelstadt Eden Prairie Minnesota
2013 Ryan Zuhlsdorf Edina Minnesota

2022 Bantam Player of the Year, Sam Laurila of Moorhead.

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