A closer look at each of the 20 teams participating at the 2021 World Selects Trophy.
The ‘20 in 20’ series takes a deep dive into each of the 20 teams competing at the historic World Selects Trophy in Nashville, Tennessee on June 28th. This 15U tournament is set to feature the best players in the age group from around the world with players from the U.S., Canada and Europe. Today, we take a closer look at NorthStar Elite Minnesota.
NORTHSTAR ELITE MINNESOTA
A high-level AAA spring and summer hockey program that participates in some of North America’s top elite summer events. NorthStar Elite is responsible for a number of Division-I college commitments over the past three years, including Tanner Ludtke (2004), Cameron Lund (2004), Tyler DesRochers (2003) and Hobie Hedquist (2003). NorthStar has traditionally put a team into World Selects that comes from Minnesota. This year, the majority of the players come from the Twin Cities Selects AAA program. The group has played in many high-profile AAA tournaments including the Canada Cup, North American Hockey Classic (NAHC), Chi-Town Shuffle, Triple Crown, Top Tier and many local Minnesota tournaments. One of the most notable includes a championship in the AAA Minnesota state tournament.
The 2021 World Selects will be the fourth time that the program has competed in the North American event. The 2021 World Selects will be the fourth time that the program has competed in the North American event. Their best run being a quarterfinal appearance in the 2018 event.
This year’s squad features two goalies that are amongst the best in their age group, and legitimate Division-I prospects. Mason McElroy was named MVP of the Minnesota state bantam tournament and Josh Middleton played on his varsity team as a freshman, posting a 55-save performance against perennial powerhouse, Edina High School.
Carson Clark is a 6-foot defenseman who covers the entire rink with excellent skating ability. Mason Stenger is another blue liner capable of playing in all facets of the game as a tough, competitive player. Maceo Phillips is a 2007-born underager in the tournament, but is already 6-foot-3 and very fluid in his movements. He’s one of the top prospects in the 2007 class and has an incredibly high ceiling.
Loaded up front, NorthStar Minnesota has several forwards that need to be accounted for. Brendan McMorrow and Ben Box are both small and shifty with great hands. McMorrow’s footwork is fantastic and Box continues to get better and better every time he touches the ice. Tommy Pendergrast is a 5-foot-11 lefty from Colorado who was shot up recruiting boards as of late and USHL teams should start to take notice over the months leading up to the 2022 Draft. Alexander Zetterberg played for Timra IK U-16 in Sweden last season. He is a very creative player who sees the ice extremely well.
NSE Minnesota is one-of-two teams that the NorthStar Elite program is entering into the 2021 event, NSE East will be featured in tomorrow’s ‘20 in 20.’
WHH is providing exclusive coverage of the 2021 World Selects Trophy. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube for the latest news regarding the international tournament later this month.