skip navigation

Players To Watch In T.C.

By Craig Peterson, 01/08/20, 8:00AM EST


North-South Showcase Will Feature Plenty of Playmakers

Ouch. Dream Team of the Week hit a rough patch last week. Our Starting Six combined to post 13 fantasy points; fewest in a single week so far this season. However, I mentioned several times that many of the boys faced tough matchups and coming out of a long layoff with winter break was going to be tough. Putting together impressive performances wouldn’t come easy for many players around the state. 



Austin Combs, Milford

6 G, 4 A

16 FPS


Doug Wood, University Liggett

3 G, 8 A

14 FPS


Shane Romback, Macomb Dakota

5 G, 2 A

12 FPS


Mason Kelly, Forest Hills Central

4 G, 3 A

11 FPS


Andrew Potyk, Lake Orion

4 G, 1 A



Dylan Dooley, Detroit Catholic Central

3 G, 3 A



But today is a new day, and the only way to bounce back is to get after it again! There’s some fantastic matchups this week, headlined by the Rick Deneweth Memorial North-South Showcase in Traverse City. I’ll be dialed into this one, as 16 of the 23 participating teams are ranked in the Top 20 of their respective MI-HS Divisions. I’ve got a couple names to key in on at the three-day event this weekend, I’m sure you do too so if they’re different than what I’ve got below, hit me up on Twitter and let’s talk about it!

Week Eight

Monday, January 6th - Sunday, January 12th

FORWARD, Senior Jacob Kornoelje, Brownstown Woodhaven

SCHEDULE: 1/10 @ Grandville, 1/11 vs. Traverse City Central

Let’s start with him being ranked fourth in the state in scoring with 34 points in just 12 games, and those numbers aren’t against any chumps. Kornoelje is producing for a Warriors’ team whose strength of schedule ranked 20th in the entire state by MyHockeyRankings. His explosiveness and natural goal scorer’s ability has led to three hat tricks already this season and the 6-foot senior has 15 tallies in total. Grandville is giving up just 2.50 goals per game since Christmas and TCC is pretty stout as well, so Kornoelje has his work cut out for him but he’s red hot right now.


FORWARD, Senior Brady Rappuhn, Saginaw Heritage

SCHEDULE: 1/8 @ Bay Area Thunder, 1/10 vs. Marquette, 1/11 @ Jenison

I think Rappuhn likes playing in Traverse City. The 6-foot lefty posted 10, count ‘em, ten points during the Scott Miller Memorial Tournament two weeks ago and put up eight in last year’s tournament. To top it all off, Rappuhn has 15 goals and 24 points in just seven games, including four against Kingsford last Saturday. He has points in 21 of Heritage’s last 22 games dating back to February 2, 2019, with the only blanking being the Division-I State Championship against DCC. Rappuhn is as close to automatic as it gets right now, can’t wait to see what he does in a return trip to TC.


FORWARD, Junior Brenden Heard, Livonia Stevenson

SCHEDULE: 1/10 @ TC Central, 1/11 @ Grandville

I’ve been hanging on to Heard for a while and think now is a good time to put him in the lineup. He’s one of my favorite forwards in the junior class this year and what I like most is his hockey IQ. Heard is smart and makes really intelligent plays both with and without the puck, and it’s led to a team-high eight goals in 11 games. Stevenson is coming off of its biggest win of the season and Heard was a big factor in that. The Spartans always seem to turn it up a notch in Traverse City and I’ll buy into the junior forward playing an important role at the showcase this weekend.


DEFENSEMAN, Senior Justin Winegar, Mona Shores

SCHEDULE: 1/9 vs. Alpena, 1/10 @ Big Rapids

I’ll admit, I don’t know a lot about Mona, but at 8-5-0 with wins over Midland and Jenison, and four guys averaging a point per game — including the senior D-man — they’re gaining my attention. Winegar has five goals and 19 points on the season, and logging serious minutes for the Sailors as the cornerstone of their backend. He’s compiled not one, but two five-game point streaks already and the four-year senior has mounted 44 points in his lengthy career. Both matchups would be good building resume builders for Mona and it’ll be interesting to see these two contests play out.


DEFENSEMAN, Sophomore Aaron Ackerson, Bay Reps

SCHEDULE: 1/7 @ Cheboygan, 1/10 @ Macomb Dakota, 1/11 vs. Davison

More of a distributor than a scorer from the back end, Ackerson is second on the team in scoring with 13 points and three games on the schedule this week. The Reps are 8-1-0 this season when Ackerson gets on the score sheet and while they have a couple offensive options, the sophomore D-man always seems to factor into the equation one way or another. Scoring comes at a premium against Dakota and Davison though, as they both give up less than 2.5 goals per game, Ackerson’s gonna have to earn it. A little home-ice advantage might help, as 10 of his points have come in Traverse City.   


GOALIE, Sophomore Grant Neuhardt, TC Central

SCHEDULE: 1/8 vs. Cadillac, 1/10 vs. Livonia Stevenson, 1/11 @ Woodhaven

I’m fascinated by Neuhardt. A sophomore goalie whose already seen action in 36 games during his young career. You’d have to look pretty damn hard to find another 16-year-old netminder with that much experience at the high school level. It’s starting to pay dividends too. Neuhardt had a decent showing during his first season of the MDHL and is off to a respectable 8-1-2 start with a 2.61 goals-against average. Tough matchups at the showcase but they both provide huge growth opportunities for the young goaltender.