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The Herb Brooks Award

The Herb Brooks Award is given to the most qualified hockey player in the state tournament who strongly represents the values, characteristics, and traits that defined Herb Brooks. This prestigious award will commemorate the unending influence Herb Brooks had on the sport of hockey in Minnesota and throughout the world.


Herb Brooks is a legend. He not only loved hockey, he lived it. Countless people in the hockey world revered him, and he was a tireless supporter of the sport. Herb always had a story to tell about his hockey experiences. While he is most well known for leading the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” USA Olympic team to the gold medal, the story he enjoyed sharing most was that of his St. Paul Johnson team, which won the state boys’ hockey tournament in 1955.

“Winning the state championship, that represented your neighborhood. I would have to say that it was my biggest thrill ever. It was just the guys in the neighborhood and that was special.”

That win marked the beginning of many victories Herb Brooks would achieve throughout his life. Herb’s integrity, his willingness to take on a challenge, and his dedication left an everlasting impression on the hockey community. The Herb Brooks Award, presented by KSTC Channel 45, is supported by the Minnesota State High School League, the Boys and Girls Hockey Coaches Associations, and of course, by Herb’s widow, Patti, and his children, Dan and Kelly. 

Nomination Process

The head coach of each team qualifying for both the State Girls’ Hockey Tournament and State Boys’ Hockey Tournament can nominate a player for the Herb Brooks Award. This award is open to all players on the varsity roster. There will be one recipient in each class for girls and one for boys.

Player nomination forms can be found on the HBF's website. The coach must complete the checklist of qualities associated with Herb Brooks, and explain why the player deserves the award. The nominee must, in the opinion of his/her head coach, represent the characteristics, values and traits Herb Brooks defined. This award is not necessarily intended for the best player on the team. Instead, it should honor the player with the most drive and dedication to the team, to the school, and to the community — and, of course, to hockey.

Characteristics and values nominees should feature:

  • True love for hockey — a real passion 
  • Commitment and loyalty to school, team, and community 
  • Willingness to sacrifice for the team 
  • Integrity 
  • Courage of his/her convictions 
  • Goal-oriented approach 
  • Sharp focus and strong competitive drive 
  • Excellent work ethic 
  • Willingness to accept challenges 
  • Mental toughness 
  • Strong hockey skills 
  • Strong leadership qualities 

Selection Process

The selection committee comprises current and former high school hockey coaches and other hockey community members with connections to Herb. Herb’s son Dan and his daughter, Kelly Paradise, chair a committee that reviews nominations, observes nominees in state tournament games, and selects the winners. Committee members may interview head coaches to discuss the nominee. 

Winners are selected during the third period of the third-place game for each class at each tournament. The winner’s coach will be notified before each championship game, and the award presentation will take place at the conclusion of the championship game, prior to the championship medals and trophies.

Head coaches must submit nominations electronically by 4 p.m. the Monday of state tournament week.

When your player is chosen

Nominees must attend the championship awards ceremony on Saturday. They should dress appropriately, i.e., in a manner commensurate with a prestigious, televised award ceremony. Game sweaters or other school-insignia apparel are appropriate. If, for some reason, a winning player cannot be present to accept the award, it will be presented to the next-best-qualified player.

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Previous Winners


  • Girls' Class A: Becca Dawson, Willmar
  • Girls' Class AA: Samantha Peterson, Roseau
  • Boys' A: Jake Geiger, Northfield
  • Boys' AA:  Harper Searles, Centennial


  • Girls' Class A: Annaliese Rader, Mankato East
  • Girls' Class AA:  Lauren O'Hara, Centennial
  • Boys' A: David Wolsfeld, Mahtomedi
  • Boys' AA:  Jack Erickson, Hill Murray


  • Girls' Class A: Iyla Ryskamp, Orono
  • Girls' Class AA: Maggie Malecha, Northfield
  • Boys' A: Matthew Hard, East Warroad
  • Boys' AA: Weston Knox, Andover


  • Girls' Class A: Abbey Hardwick, Warroad
  • Girls' Class AA: Rory Guilday, Minnetonka
  • Boys' A: Landon Parker, East Grand Forks
  • Boys' AA: Cade Ahrenholz, Lakeville South


  • Girls' Class A: Taylor Nelson, Cloquet-Esko-Carlton
  • Girls' Class AA: Anika Stoskopf, Roseau
  • Boys' A: Colin Hagstrom, Mahtomedi
  • Boys' AA: Will Svenddal, Blake


  • Girls' Class A: Katherine Solohub, Breck
  • Girls' Class AA: Jenna Gerold, Farmington
  • Boys' Class A: Donte Lawson, Greenway
  • Boys' Class AA: Jack Jensen, Eden Prairie


  • Girls' A: Ali Beltz, New Ulm
  • Girls' AA: Anneke Linser, Centennial
  • Boys' A: Jackson Boline, Alexandria
  • Boys' AA: Joe Molenaar, Minnetonka


  • Girls A: Lilly Rewertz, Hibbing
  • Girls AA: Emily Brown, Blaine
  • Boys A: Charlie Voller, Monticello
  • Boys AA: Micah Miller, Grand Rapids


  • Girls A: Sophie McGovern, Duluth
  • Girls AA: Kaitlyn VanTassel, Forest Lake
  • Boys' A: Tyler Loe, Mankato West
  • Boys' AA: Jackson Cates, Stillwater


  • Girls class A: Frances Marshall, Thief River Falls
  • Girls class AA: Mikayla Tilton, Blaine
  • Boys class A: Dixon Bowen, East Grand Forks
  • Boys Class AA: Angelo Altavilla, Lakeville North


  • Girls class A: Reilly Fawcett, Hermantown
  • Girls class AA: Bella Sutton, Mounds View
  • Boys class A: Logan Norman, Luverne
  • Boys class AA: Zach Yon, Roseau


  • Girls class A: Katie Dye, Hibbing/Chisholm
  • Girls class AA: McKenzie Johnson, Eden Prairie
  • Boys class A: Chris Benson, Hermantown
  • Boys class AA: Ryan Lundgren, Duluth East


  • Girls Class A: Cori Fairbanks, Red Wing
  • Girls Class AA: Sydney Helmbrecht, Grand Rapids/Greenway
  • Boys Class A: Joey Hanowski, Little Falls
  • Boys Class AA: Michael Bitzer, Moorhead


  • Girls Class A: Amanda Arbogast, Virginia
  • Girls Class AA: Carolyn Draayer, Minnetonka
  • Boys Class A: AJ Reid, St. Thomas Academy
  • Boys Class AA: Garen David, White Bear Lake


  • Girls Class A: Fallon Macemon, Hutchinson
  • Girls Class AA: Caitie Morris, Edina
  • Boys Class A: Casey Myhre, Virginia
  • Boys Class AA: Peter Sikich, Apple Valley


  • Girls Class A: Rosie Alleva, Red Wing
  • Girls Class AA: Gina McDonald, Irondale
  • Boys Class A: Riley Hirsch, Little Falls
  • Boys Class AA: Trent Johnson, Moorhead


  • Girls Class A: Ashley Holmes, Alexandria
  • Girls Class AA: Emily Erickson, Grand Rapids/Greenway
  • Boys Class A: Bryce Ravndalen, Warroad
  • Boys Class AA: Joe Phillippi, Hill-Murray


  • Girls Class A: Abby Williams, Alexandria
  • Girls Class AA: Lindsey Mortinson, Burnsville
  • Boys Class A: Chad Huttel, Hermantown
  • Boys Class AA: Joe Stejskal, Grand Rapids


  • Girls Class A: Brittany Dunkel, Warroad
  • Girls Class AA: Chelsey Jones, Stillwater
  • Boys Class A: Karl Gilbert, Hermantown
  • Boys Class AA: Matt Olson, Blaine


  • Girls Class A: Kayla Hagen, Hibbing/Chisolm
  • Girls Class AA: Kellye Nelson, Centennial
  • Boys Class A: Jon Breuer, Albert Lea
  • Boys Class AA: Mike Wallgren, Tartan


  • Girls Class A: Danny Blacker, Hibbing
  • Girls Class AA: Molly McDonald, Lakeville
  • Boys Class A: Pat Dynan, Orono
  • Boys Class AA: Greg Flynn, Centennial