It’s Brandon Mickelson Time in Moorhead

Brandon Mickelson was a standout for Moorhead's Bantam AA the last couple seasons. Photo by David Romuald

Every time a player leaves their high school team early to play AAA or junior hockey it creates an opportunity for another player from that team to step-up and make the most of that opportunity. On Tuesday Moorhead High School defenseman Garrett Lindberg was named to the National Team Developmental Program’s U-17 Team, leaving a huge hole on Moorhead’s blueline for next season. The player that will seize this opportunity and run with it is Brandon Mickelson.  

Sure, the 2007 DOB defenseman just finished an outstanding bantam career and has not played a high school game, but he has the full ability to take the next step in his development and prove his value at the high school level. Mickelson’s game is highlighted by fluid skating and good puck movement. He demonstrated repeatedly his ability to gain zones and push the pace of the play without forfeiting defensive positioning. Over the course of the last few seasons, he’s showed nice chemistry with his teammates, displaying great timing on when to rush or pinch and when to retreat and hunker down.

Brandon is a smart hockey player with natural talent. He’s a balanced player that will trade personal glory for team success. He’s not out there hotdogging it every time he touches the puck or making low percentage passes for the sake of running up his point totals. Instead, Mickelson takes the ice and has a shift by shift, battle by battle mentality.

No doubt Lindberg heading to the NTDP will sting, but Moorhead will be just fine as this group coming in is about as good as it gets. And while I fully expect some bumps early next season for Mickelson, he will settle in and become one of the top defenders in the state over the next few years.