Hockey players gain national attention


Sophomore Grant Besse and junior Jake Horton earned the opportunity along with Daniel Labosky (not pictured) to represent the state of Minnesota at a national camp in Rochester, New York.

Dana Buckhorn, staff writer

Three hopeful BSM hockey players will pack their bags for Rochester, New York where they will skate face to face with 150 of the nation’s hockey phenoms, while pursuing a promising hockey career at the National Player Development camp this summer.

Of the 13 Red Knights who tried out, junior Jake Horton and sophomores Grant Besse and Daniel Labosky were chosen to represent the state of Minnesota at this prestigious hockey event, where they will be given the opportunity to propel their future as Division I or even NHL hockey players.

Among the mingled emotions devised in this honor, gratitude remains the most prominent. It has become certain that anxiety will emerge as the event nears, but their appreciation of their recent success proves to have an overshadowing existence in their thoughts and preparation for national camp. “Right now I’m not nervous, but when I’m up there I’ll probably feel a couple butterflies,” said Besse.

While in Rochester, the boys will compete against players who have the ability to push them beyond their comfort zone and beyond the limits they routinely face. Opportunities thrive in such an environment where failure— to an extent— becomes inevitable. “It really helps to see the other talent around the country and what you’re competing against,” said Horton, “They push you harder than anyone we normally play.”

The benefits of national camp are not limited to player development, but extend to the critical aspect of exposure. A profusion of Division I college and NHL scouts come to observe the upcoming talent convening in Rochester; with them they bring boundless possibilities for the players. The amount of exposure available at national camp attracts players wishing to play at the top level, making attendance at the camp a priority from youth. “I’ve known since I was little that I wanted to make this team because it’s a great way to get recognized by scouts,” said Horton.

This valuable and much sought after chance was not merely handed to the boys—an extensive and exhausting tryout process was endured before even coming in sight of their goal. Players were selected after two consecutive weekends of tournaments in Plymouth. After a series of tryouts, they were divided into eight teams based on Minnesota State High School League playoff sections. The top 54 players from each of the two age groups were then selected to compete in a two-day round-robin event that concluded on April 25. After withstanding tryouts, Horton, Besse, and Labosky received the news that they were headed for national camp. “It was really cool to find out that I made it because they only take eight forwards and five defensemen at our age,” said Horton.