St. Cloud, MN – 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. Maybe it’s appropriate that the 2018 Class AA Herb Brooks Award winner Joey Molenaar, will be lacing up his skates in the future at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. Molenaar announced via Twitter on June 21st “Honored to announce my commitment to play college hockey at St. Cloud State University! I appreciate all of the support over the years.”
Beyond the fact that Molenaar is a recognized leader in the locker room and on the ice the 6′ 181 pound left-handed shooter also proved his playing abilities as well scoring 31 goals and adding 12 assists for 43 points in 31 games for the State Class AA Champion Minnetonka Skippers. A player with a tendency to perform in big games, Molenaar had two goals and four assists in the state tournament. Playing for Team SW in the MN Elite League Molenaar scored 5 goals in the 2017 championship game. Neutral Zone, a prominent scouting and ranking service ranked Molenaar as one of seven “A” ranked players in the 2018 Class AA State Tournament. They noted “His play is a bit understated. He managed the puck well, got shots to the net and has good size and strength. He competes hard, slides to good spots without the puck and set up screens well. He is balanced on his skates and strong on the puck. He also has a slick element to his game as he is able to slip pucks into defenders’ blind spots around their feet and between their stick and body. Played in every key situation. Made everyone better and is a coach’s dream. Prepared and consistent player.”
Molenaar finished the 2017-18 season playing for the Aberdeen Wings of the NAHL, the same team current Husky Kevin Fitzgerald played for in 2016-17. He was drafted 62nd overall by the Tri-City Storm in the 2018 USHL Entry Draft.
The Huskies last recruit from Minnetonka High School is current SCSU captain Jimmy Schuldt.
It is assumed Molenaar will play at least a season of Junior hockey before joining the Huskies.