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Best from the midterms

Star Tribune staff writer David La Vaque ranks his top recruits in the state:

1. Wyatt Kaiser, defense, Andover (Minnesota Duluth). Top-rated (No. 56 overall) current Minnesota high school player in the NHL Central Scouting Midterm Rankings of North American skaters.

2. Carsen Richels, forward, Blaine (New Hampshire). Good size (6-2, 223 pounds) and scoring ability helped make him the top-rated (No. 75 overall) among current Minnesota prep forwards.

3. Nathan Schweitzer, defense, Benilde-St. Margaret’s (Colorado College). Smart, offensive-minded defender enters this week with 18 points in 15 games. Rated No. 81.

4. Blake Biondi, forward, Hermantown (Minnesota Duluth). A Mr. Hockey favorite tallied 22 goals in first 14 games of the season. Rated No. 91.

5. Jake Ratzlaff, defense, Rosemount (Minnesota), junior. Steady defensive presence has also added 11 points for a strong Irish team. Rated No. 103.

6. Jake Boltmann, defense, Edina (Minnesota). Top defenseman for the defending champion Hornets. Rated No. 96.

 7. Evan Bushy, defense, Thief River Falls (St. Cloud State). Leads the Prowlers with 15 assists. Led them with 18 goals last season. Rated No. 146.

8. Jack Smith, forward, St. Cloud Cathedral (Minnesota Duluth). Tallied 13 goals so far for the defending Class 1A state champions. Rated No. 162.

 9. Matthew Gleason, forward, Cretin-Derham Hall (Colorado College). Measures 5 feet 8 and 170 pounds but looms large with 21 goals and 24 assists. Rated No. 187.

10. Jake Braccini, forward, Buffalo (Minnesota). Not rated by the NHL Central Scouting office but is a dynamic player with huge upside potential.

Note: All players are seniors unless noted. College commitment in parentheses.