Three of six finalists will play in state tourney

Let’s Play Hockey announced six finalists for the Reed Larson Award. The award is presented to the state’s top senior defenseman.

The six finalists include: Owen Buesgens of Chanhassen, Barrett Dexheimer of Edina, Hawke Huff of Wayzata, Ryan Lund of Warroad, Mason Stenger of Benilde/St. Margaret’s, and John Stout of Minnetonka.

Three of the finalists: Buesgens, Dexheimer and Lund will be playing in the state tournament this week.

Reed Larson Award Finalists

Owen BuesgensChanhassen5-8/1635-36-41St. Thomas
Barrett DexheimerEdina5-11/1653-22-25UMASS
Hawke HuffWayzata6-3/1943-20-23St. Cloud State
Ryan LundWarroad6-3/19818-22-40Uncommitted
Mason StengerBenilde-St. Margaret6-1/2099-21-30Uncommitted
John StoutMinnetonka6-2/1876-24-30UMD


Buesgens helped lead Chanhassen to their first berth to the state tournament following an upset win over top-ranked and undefeated Minnetonka. He leads all finalists with 41 points (5-36-41). He is committed to the University of St. Thomas.

Dexheimer scored a short-handed goal in Edina’s section final win over Wayzata to help them advance as Section 6AA champions. He has three goals and 22 assists on the season. The senior defenseman is committed to the University of Massachussetts.

Huff (6’3″) was a strong presence on the blue line for Wayzata who maintained the No. 2 spot in the rankings most of the season before being bumped from competition by conference and section rival Edina. Huff (3-20-23) recently committed to St. Cloud State.

Lund helped lead Warroad back to the state tournament. He is the top goal-scoring defenseman on the list of finalists with 18 goals and is second with 40 points.

Stenger helped lead the Red Knights to a top-5 ranking. Benilde-St. Margaret’s was one of the top defensive teams in the state. Stenger, at 6’1” and 209 pounds, is an intimidating presence in front of the net, and also has offensive skills as evidenced by his nine goals and 21 assists for 30 points.

Stout helped lead the Skippers to a state championship last season and was a main cog in the Skipper juggernaut that went 47 games without a loss before their section final loss to Chanhassen. Stout (6’2”/187)  possesses the rare combination of size and smooth skating ability. He is committed to the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Other players receiving considered for the award were: Will Esterbrooks (Hermantown), Brody Dietz (St. Thomas Academy), Joey Mugaas (Orono), Erik Charhcenko (Holy Family), Thomas Quast (Totino Grace), Dylan Vornwald (Eden Prairie), Roan Bresnehan (Coon Rapids), Cooper Anderson (Elk River/Zimmerman), Ty Frank (Northfield), Austin Peterson (Centennial), Alex Ballard (Roseau), Lance Murray (Eagan), Colton Holzer (LaCrescent), Grif Lind (Buffalo), Talan Plante (Marshall), and Kaleb Breuer (Morris//Benson).

Let’s Play Hockey created the Reed Larson Award in 2013 to annually honor the state’s top senior boys’ high school defenseman.

Reed Larson, a native of Minneapolis, played on the blue line for Minneapolis Roosevelt High School and the University of Minnesota, followed by 904 regular season games in the NHL, most notably as a captain of the Detroit Red Wings. He finished his career with 685 points and is now enshrined in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.

The winner of the Reed Larson Award is based on consideration by a panel of Division I college coaches, junior league scouts and executives, and high school coaches.


2012-13Jake BischoffGrand Rapids
2013-14Luc SnuggerudEden Prairie
2014-15Jacob OlsonHill-Murray
2015-16Wyatt AamodtHermantown
2016-17Dylan SambergHermantown
2017-18Luke LaMasterDuluth East
2018-19Mike KosterChaska
2019-2020Wyatt KaiserAndover
2020-21Jack PeartGrand Rapids
2021-22Leo GrubaHill-Murray
2022-23Chase CheslockRogers