Wiz Wyatt, circa 1973. Photo Courtesy Harvard University
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 to top Squirt and PeeWee players. Our criteria for the award is pretty simple.
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 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.
Name: Trey Fechko
Hometown: Eden Prairie
School: Breakaway Academy
Team: Chaska Chanhassen
Sports: Hockey, Basketball, Baseball
Parents: Paul and Jen
We saw Trey Fechko for the first time in December of 2015 - playing in The Pond 3v3 New Year's Challenge. Trey was fast and very confident with the puck. Over the past year or so, Trey has burst onto the Minnesota scene doing well in our NOW Prospects Combine and PeeWee Challenge. It came as no surprise that he has done so well this year or Chaska Chanhassen.
The Stormhawks head into the state tourney this weekend the number one team in the state and Trey is a big reason for their success. He has great acceleration, hands and a sharp-shooter's shot. One coach said of Fechko, "there are times he just can't be stopped..."
Name: Drew Fisher
School: St. Ambrose of Woodbury Catholic School
Sports: Hockey, Baseball
Parents: Tony and Janelle
Drew Fisher is big. Yes, physically he may be taller than most in PeeWee hockey...but he's big in other ways. He's a leader on his team, he has a big time shot and he scores big goals for his team. He had two goals in the East Region championship game earlier this month to help lead the Predators to state. A trend that seems to follow him at every level.
Fisher, teamed with line mates Dylan Godbout and Gabe Rasmussen form one of the best lines in the state. One coach said of the line, "Godbout and Rasmussen are so fast, but Fisher is the one that can kill you with that shot."
Name: Brody Lamb
School: Byron Middle School
Team: Dodge County
Sports: Hockey, Baseball, Football, Cross Country
Parents: Jeff and Melissa
One of the funnest players to watch this year has been Brody Lamb. He skates like he was shot out of a cannon and sees the ice like has three sets of eyes, which makes him a danger to the opposition every time his blades hit the ice. Dodge County had a great season this year going 38-12-2, amassing 10 wins over AA teams and falling one game shy of the state tourney.
His success comes as no surprise to YHH - he's done extremely well against his peers at the AAA level and in elite level events including the NOW Prospects Combine and PeeWee Challenge. One southern Minnesota coach said of Lamb, "Brody is the perfect hockey player because he has great physical skill combined with a great understanding of the game."
Name: William Matzke
Hometown: Maple Grove
School: The Blake School
Team: Osseo Maple Grove
Sports: Hockey, Baseball
Parents: Kelly and Adriana
Will Matzke is a coaches dream. He has some obvious physical tools (speed, hard shot and good hands) - but what sets him apart from other players is how hard he works. Off the ice, he will strike you as shy, but on the ice he does most of his talking with his hard work - which is likely the reason he's one of Osseo Maple Grove's captains this year.
William was the MVP in the Big Pumpkin to kick off the year as the Leafbirds won the title for the second time in three years. They qualified for state and have a very good chance to repeat as state champions. Odds are good that if they do repeat, William will be a big reason why. One coach said of Matzke, "13 for OMG is so hard to stop...we are always aware of him when he's on the ice."
Name: Hayden Walters
School: Sartell Middle School
Sports: Hockey, Lacrosse
Parents: Dave and Dena
Hayden Walters is "that guy" - you know the guy on the other team you have to stop or you're in for a long day. He's big, very fast and a physical force with and without the puck. Sartell is an "A" team by classification only, the Sabres played 21 game versus AA teams and are one of the favorites to win state this weekend in Blaine. They are not a one man team - Tory Lund and Parker Comstock are also players for the Sabres with star power.
Besides his great physical skill (size, speed and fearless play in the dirty areas), Walters is a leader on the ice. He's the first guy to congratulate a teammate's goal or the guy who is encouraging others during the game. Hayden is the first cousin to Bantam Player of the Year finalist Jake Braccini. One coach said of Hayden..."Hayden Walters of Sartell has to be the hardest guy we had to stop at any level, AA or A."
|2013||Jack Olsen||Lakeville South|
|2015||Matt Gleason||St. Paul|
|2016||Kyle Kukkonen||Osseo Maple Grove|