The Northstar Christian Academy Knights are pleased to announce their roster for the upcoming 2020-21 season. The Knights return eight players from last year’s Dixon Cup runner-up team, a team that won 50 games and reached number 10 in the country in the “My Hockey Rankings” for U18 teams across the country.   

This year’s team will feature 24 players from 11 states. Head Coach John Olver is entering his third year at the helm, and will have a new face joining him on the bench. Rylan Galiardi, who left the USHL to join Northstar, will serve as Associate Head Coach, as former U18 assistant Tim Jackman made the transition to Head Coach of the Knights’ inaugural U16 team. 

Up front, the Knights return Anthony Menghini (Brainerd, MN), who led the team last season with 69 points in 57 games. Kade Peterson (West Fargo, ND) returns as well, coming off a 28 point campaign in his debut season. Also returning for the Knights are Kaden Hjelm (Omaha, NE), Maksim Bure (Malibu, CA), and Clayton Brown (Bakersfield, CA). Defenseman Jacob Napier (Lancaster, NY) is the lone returner on the back end after 44 points last season. Goaltender Chris Brown (Reading, PA) returns for his third year as a Knight, coming off a season which saw him post a 1.16 goals against average and .924 save percentage in seven games. 

The new cast of Knights players features a mixture of both high school and AAA players. At forward, the trio of Calvin Hanson (Hallock, MN), Dylan Cook (Princeton, MN), and Cody Croal (North Branch, MN) join the Knights after all having impressive seasons in Minnesota high school last year. Blaise Miller (Minto, ND) is coming off helping Grand Forks Central to a third place finish in the North Dakota state tournament last season. Alexandria native Joe Westlund will be joining the Knights after three strong years for the hometown Cardinals. Hayden Helgeson (Grand Forks, ND) and Owen Hanson (West Fargo, ND) will also join the Knights, along with Ashton Christman (Lincoln, NE) and Wes Griffin (Park City, UT). Reese Laubach (San Jose, CA) will also be joining the Knights as a late addition to this year’s team. 

Despite losing a large chunk of their defensive corp, the Knights have reloaded on the back end. Mitch Simmons (Raleigh, NC), a two time USA Hockey National Camp invitee, will play a big role in his debut season. Brian Morse (Fresno, CA) and Jeremy McDonald (Lockport, NY) both join the Knights after playing at east coast prep schools last year. Christian Carto (Plymouth, MN), Tyler Johnson (Boise, ID), and Nathan Mulder (West Lafayette) will patrol the blue line for the Knights as well. In addition to the defense,  Logan Verpoort (Franklin, TN) will be relied upon along with Brown at goaltender for the Knights. 

In addition to the 24 Knights players, Northstar will also continue to school three players who have moved onto junior hockey for their senior year.  Ben Strinden (Fargo, ND) will be playing in Muskegon in the USHL, while Jakob Stender (Alexandria, MN) and Jens Richards (Detroit Lakes, MN) will be playing for Aberdeen and Austin in the NAHL. All three are two-year Knights players, and will stay enrolled at Northstar and plan to graduate in May 2021.

Northstar welcomes our new additions, as well as welcomes back our returning players for the year ahead. We are looking forward to another  successful season both on and off the ice!