This time last year, five players opted to move on from their previous programs and join the U14 team at Shattuck-St. Mary's, the youngest age group in which the Sabres field a team. SSM needs zero introduction, given its reputation as one of the premier places in the world to develop hockey players.
Eight Minnesota products will strap up for the U14 Sabres this season, including five forwards, two defensemen, and a goaltender. Together, these eight represent nearly half of the team's 20-man roster.
SSM's rosters for all other teams have yet to be released, but the odds are better than good that a few more players could make their way to Faribault on both the boys' and girls' sides.
Chartier is a product of the Minnetonka youth system, skating for the Bantam AA Skippers last year and Minnetonka's Peewee AA team the year before. Chartier totaled 11 goals and 18 points in United States Elite League play this summer, helping Maple Grove-based Select Development Program to a league title in the 2009 Division.
Chartier's older brother Owen played one season for the U14 Sabres in 2021-2022. After recording 69 points in 52 games for SSM, the older Chartier moved on to the Windy City Storm AAA program. He is slated to play for Windy City's 16U squad this season.
Originally from Prior Lake, DeBoer suited up for Chaska/Chanhassen's Peewee AA team last year and helped the Stormhawks to a third-place finish at the 2023 Peewee AA State Tournament in New Ulm this spring. DeBoer scored two goals and added two assists during State Tournament play.
Considered one of the state's top 2009-born defenders, Dessner brings an athletic flair to the Shattuck-St. Mary's blueline for the upcoming season. During this year's CCM 68 Combine, Dessner tested 31st out of 120 skaters in on-ice evaluations.
Dessner's hockey bloodlines include father Jeff, a two-time All-WCHA pick and 2000 AHCA West First Team All-American for the University of Wisconsin. Dessner was selected by the New York Rangers in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft and played two years in Germany's DEL before officially retiring in 2004.
The 2022 Wiz Wyatt Player of the Year will move on from the Andover youth program to the Faribault for the season, taking his natural goal-scoring ability with him.
Firtzhenry racked up 57 goals and 95 points last season for the Bantam AA Huskies, including a wild run through the East Regional. Fitzhenry factored in 10 of Andover's 17 goals, scoring six times and adding four assists as the Huskies bowed out in the consolation semifinal round of regional play.
Haffer joined Chaska/Chanhassen's Bantam AA team last season as a transplant from the St. Louis Eagles Hockey Club and helped the Stormhawks to a near-birth in the Bantam AA State Tournament.
Haffer registered three goals and 10 points for United Hockey Club at this year's U14 World Hockey Championships, according to eliteprospects.com.
A diminutive forward, Klava will join the Sabres after playing for the Sioux Falls Power last season and the Northeast Wisconsin Jr. Gamblers the year before. Klava is originally from Roseville. He totaled nine points in four games at January's White Bear Lake Bantam A/Peewee AA tournament.
Riley Klava skates for Southeast Elite's 2009 team in a recent tournament.
Nystrom patrolled the pipes for Minnetonka's Bantam A team last season, posting impressive numbers for a 28-13-7 team.
Nystrom stopped 303 of 326 shots for a goals-against-average of 1.44 and a .929 save percentage with five shutouts in District 6 play. In the Skippers' three games at the Bantam A East Region, Nystrom made 84 saves on 90 shots. Nystrom's 2022-2023 campaign culminated with a 40-save performance in a 3-2 loss in four overtimes against Farmington.
Another puck-mover for the Sabres on the backend, Shillings heads down to Faribault from Woodbury, where he helped the Predators to back-to-back Peewee AA State Tournament appearances in 2022 and 2023.
Shillings recorded eight goals and 33 points in 17 District 8 games and tallied eight assists in Peewee AA Region play. For the season, Shillings scored 14 goals and added 46 assists in contests tracked by GameSheet.