MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Wild continue their developmental camp, and one name to watch down the road hails from Grand Rapids, Minn.
Avery Peterson came back for his senior season at Grand Rapid High School, and won Mr. Hockey in the state.
“It’s really cool. I mean, men’s high school hockey is such a cherished thing in Minnesota, so to win that award is pretty humbling, pretty special, even for my family and my entire community of Grand Rapids,” Peterson said.
The Wild drafted Peterson after his junior season. He’s reconnected to Grand Rapids at the Wild’s developmental camp, run by fellow Grand Rapids-native Kurt Kleindorst, who has played in the same rink and even played with one of Peterson’s father.
“I went to school with Avery’s dad, and, you know, we have a little place up on Pokegoma Lake, they’re three-doors down,” Kleindorst said. “I know the family, I know the history, I followed him, it’s been a lot of fun. And, you know, for me it’s interesting that, and even somewhat hard to believe, that here I am, you know, coaching Avery.”
What Peterson’s learning this week is that by watching those in front of him, they leave clues.
“You get a little taste of it here in development camp, but obviously I’m … a long project, they say,” Peterson said. “I got years on me now. You see guys … that have played in some NHL games, so you see what they do every day and kind of tells what you got to do to make that next jump.”
Peterson will play next season at Nebraska Omaha with a number of Minnesotans.
“I’m really looking forward to getting down there to that,” he said.
But one day he’d like to call the Xcel Energy Center home. He knows it will be difficult, but at his second camp with the team, it gets a little less difficult.
“I was definitely a lot less nervous coming because it’s my second year,” Peterson said. “It’s a lot of fun.”