Of all the content I’ve ever produced in my life — blogs, interviews, videos, documentaries, podcasts, infographics — nothing has proved to be more important to you, the people, than this. It is far and away the most discussed topic I get when I come across coaches, players, parents and scouts. There’s also no single piece of content that has required more time, effort and commitment than the Top 100 Names to Know in Michigan High School Hockey. And that’s saying something!
Days at the rinks, hours watching film, calls, emails and text exchanges with various coaches around the state. I put in a lot of work to compile a list of 100-plus players, but not to be right. No, no, nooooo. In fact, I’ll be the first to admit, I get a good amount wrong when it comes to slotting prospects in the order I see fit.
Don’t dismiss my efforts, though. Let me remind you, seven of the top 10 players from the inaugural list in ‘19-20 played Tier-II junior hockey or higher. Three of them currently play NCAA Division-I, one plays Division-III and one playing in the OHL this season. The second edition in ‘20-21 included 29 prospects that played Tier-II junior, or Junior-B hockey and above. Not to mention a slew of players that went on to skate for various ACHA programs across the country. This list has included both Mr. Hockey Award winners, and 11 of the 12 Dream Team nominations over that span.
My criteria for the list, in some order is as follows:
The 100 Names to Know is meant to invoke healthy conversation and constructive debate. Ignite discussions between coaches and scouts alike in a space previously void of any form of player watchlists, rankings or evaluations. I can’t tell you the amount of feedback I’ve gotten over the years from scouts inquiring about prospects, coaches lobbying for players, and families appreciative of the publicity. The impact it’s had on high school hockey is more than I ever could’ve imagined and it’s truly humbling. So, without further adieu, here is my 2023-24 Top 100 Names to Know in Michigan High School Hockey.