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Bantam Elite League: 2023 Major Postseason Awards

By YHH Staff, 08/23/23, 2:45PM CDT


18 players have been selected to the All-BEL Major team, plus one player from each squad that embodies the term "Unsung Hero."

2023 All-Bantam Elite League Major

Jackson Hendricks, Sharks

Position Player Team Hometown
Goaltender Matthew Fox Rangers Lakeland
Goaltender Leyton Rinehart Rangers Stillwater
Goaltender Kaenen Smith North Stars Duluth
Defense Eddy Dropps Penguins Centennial
Defense Landon Huh Rangers Carver
Defense Nick Nelson North Stars Monticello
Defense Zaide Penner North Dakota Fargo
Defense Jackson Strukel North Stars Hibbing
Defense Max Thompson Kings Deephaven
Forward Max Cullen North Stars Moorhead
Forward Caden Dionne Penguins Orono
Forward Haydon Eckhart North Dakota Bismarck
Forward Liam Grant Rangers Mound
Forward Jackson Hendricks Sharks Medina
Forward Bode McConnell Kings Edina
Forward Tyson Miller Sharks Rogers
Forward Connor Schubert Rangers Rosemount
Forward Evan Wanner North Stars Dilworth

Hayden Eckart, North Dakota

Most Valuable Player - Jackson Strukel

Jackson Strukel surveys the ice for the North Stars during a BEL Major game this month.

There are numerous adjectives that can be used to describe Jackson Strukel and his game. 

Consistent. Gritty. Skilled. Mover. Shaker. Crusher.

Perhaps a better descriptor of Strukel would be as an answer. 

Who's got the puck? Strukel.

Who just made that pass? Strukel.

Who made that hit? Strukel.

Who launched that bomb? Strukel. 

Strukel racked up seven goals and five assists for a total of 12 points for the North Stars during this summer's Bantam Elite League, tied for the team's lead in scoring as a defenseman.

Moreover, Strukel's effort stood out to coaches and observers alike, as the Hibbing native sold out every shift in the best way possible, proving that an offensive defenseman can still handle his business on the back end. 

Outside of the Bantam Elite League, Strukel's play is indicative of where the Hibbing-Chisholm Bluejackets could be headed in a couple of years. In addition to Strukel, BEL Minor players Cole Swanson and Whitaker Rewertz showed well this summer, and a host of other H/C standouts are in the fold. 

From the Iron Rangers to the southern plains, be warned, Minnesota hockey world. The sting is back for the Bluejackets. 

2023 BEL Major Unsung Heroes

Blake Dosan, Kings

Blake Dosan

Dosan finished third in scoring for the Kings during BEL Major play, recording five goals and 10 points in 11 games. Dosan also recorded multiple points in four contests. Aside from his production, Dosan's fearlessness and willingness to do the dirty work below the dots in both zones made him a critical piece for the Kings.

Alex Gold
North Dakota 

Consistency was king for the Fargo native, as Gold posted at least one point in nine of ten games for North Dakota. Nothing much about Gold's game screams flash, as the gutsy forward prefers substance and production over repeatedly trying for the highlight-reel play. 

Pavel Goryachev
North Stars

After spending last season with Bantam AA State Tournament runner-up Moorhead, Goryachev looks like he's taken his game to new heights this summer. 

Goryachev finished with five goals and nine points this summer for a talented North Stars squad, showcasing his elite vision and playmaking skills. 

Pavel Goryachev, North Stars

Mick Martalock

Martalock found his stride as the BEL Major season went on, tallying four goals and six points in five of his last seven games after being held scoreless in his first three games. 

Matched with Luca Jarvis and Zacharia Lang on a line for the playoffs, Martalock helped the sixth-seeded Penguins to the title game with two goals in the quarterfinals, dogged play in the semifinals, and a goal in the Penguins' heartbreaking double-overtime loss to the No. 1 seed Rangers.

Sam Wooten

It's hard to be considered "unsung" when you lead the league in goals, but Wooten quietly posted 10 scores during the Rangers' dominant run to the BEL Major crown. 

The Apple Valley native was at his best in the playoffs, where he scored twice in the Rangers' semifinal win over the Kings and once more in the championship against the Penguins.  

Marcus Matyas

Seemingly always in the right place at the right time, Matyas scored three goals and added six assists during his time with the Sharks.

Over the past winter season and into the summer, Matyas has shown that he can play in all situations, holding his own on the power play, penalty kill, and five-on-five.  

Mick Martalock, Penguins

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