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Hagen Burrows Returns To USHL As Minnesota's 'Mr. Hockey' Winner

Hagen Burrows Returns To USHL As Minnesota's 'Mr. Hockey' Winner

Hagen Burrows has been named the recipient of the 2024 Mr. Hockey Award. The award is given annually to the most outstanding senior player in Minnesota.

Mar 12, 2024 by Ryan Sikes
Hagen Burrows Returns To USHL As Minnesota's 'Mr. Hockey' Winner

Every hockey player in the state of Minnesota dreams of big things, but if there's a one common goal among the boys in the State of Hockey it is to be named Mr. Hockey. Hagen Burrows is living that dream after earning Minnesota's prestigious Mr. Hockey Award as the most outstanding senior player in the state.

Burrows became the 40th player to take home the honor, following in the footsteps of notable NHLers, such as Casey Mittelstadt, Nick Bjugstad, and Ryan McDonagh. 

Green Bay Gamblers forward Jayson Shaugabay won the award last year and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2023 NHL Draft.

“Being from Minnesota, you watch high school hockey, and you watch these guys who are finalists and winners,” Burrows told FloHockey on Monday. “You dream of being that one day, and to be able to say I’m in the same category as those guys is a really, really cool feeling and something I’m very proud of.”

Burrows began the 2023-2024 season with the Sioux City Musketeers. The 18-year-old was one of the top-performing rookies in the USHL, recording six goals and 16 points in the first 15 games. 

In early November, Burrows made the difficult decision to return to Minnetonka High School for his senior season to help the Skippers defend their first state title. Over the coming months, the University of Denver commit led the team in assists (40) and points (59). 

While Minnetonka fell short of its goal of repeating, Burrows’ production vaulted him from a fourth- or fifth-round projection in the NHL Central Scouting’s Preliminary List to a second-round pick in the mid-term rankings for the 2024 NHL Draft.

A valid argument can be made that the best thing for Burrows’ development would have been to remain in the USHL. However, Minnetonka’s roster exuded a wealth of talent, including defenseman John Stout, who was named the recipient of the Reed Larson Award for the top-performing senior defenseman.

Burrows continued to be challenged daily by practicing against the top talent, which the young forward felt helped him unlock another level in his game.

“We had the level of players to where I could push myself and get better with them and going against them,” Burrows said. “We were lucky enough to have so many great players that we had the chance to do that. Obviously, there’s a little more development when you’re playing a full USHL schedule, compared to high school. But I don't think, in the long run, it’ll be something that is detrimental to my development.”

Once Minnetonka’s season was over, it took Burrows very little time to get back into the USHL routine. 

After a couple of practices with his Sioux City teammates, he felt he was up to speed. 

While the scoresheet did not reflect it, Burrows wasted no time helping his team light the lamp. 

In his first game back, the forward’s forecheck in the defensive zone forced an errant pass, immediately leading to a Sioux City goal to open the scoring late in the first period.

“It was just good to be out there for a goal and see a little success right away,” Burrows said. “I didn't get a point, but I had a contribution to the play.”

With 10 games remaining in the regular season, Sioux City is the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference standings. The Muskies bolstered their blue line before February’s trade deadline by acquiring defenseman Owen Keefe from Muskegon. 

However, getting Burrows back for the homestretch and postseason is like a trade-deadline acquisition in itself. 

The Musketeers are battling a couple of injuries, so the eager forward is ready to step in wherever he is needed to help the team make a deep postseason run.

“I'm just here to play whatever role they think will help the team,” Burrows said. “I understand that by leaving, I’ve missed a lot. So, I'm just playing wherever the coach needs me. Whatever role he wants me to play, I'm all up for it.”

And, if that’s not exciting enough, Burrows is expected to return to Sioux City for a full USHL season next year.

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