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Former Hermantown hockey alumns enjoying solid seasons

Catching up with former Hawks hockey legends:

■ Zam Plante – Has 58 points, including 21 goals, for the Fargo Force of the United States Hockey League. The 5-foot-9, 170 pound forward from Hermantown will join the Bulldogs next season.

■ Max Plante – Has 45 points (11 goals) in 34 games for the U.S. National U-18 team. The 5-10, 170 pound left wing, younger brother of Zam Plante, will also begin his Bulldogs career in the fall.

■ Neal Pionk – The top-four Winnipeg Jets defenseman, who also hails from Hermantown, has 22 points (four goals) in 63 games for the Stanley Cup Playoffs-bound Jets. Pionk's 2023-24 salary (per $7.5 million. Career earnings: $17,329,368.

■ Dylan Samberg – The former Hermantown High and Bulldogs defenseman has 15 points (1 goal) in 63 games for the Jets, sometimes being paired with Pionk in a top six defensive pair. Samberg's 2023-24 salary (per $1.4 million. Career earnings: $1,646,500. He will be a restricted free agent after the 2024-25 season, and is line for a multi-year contract somewhere north of $6 million per season.

2023-24 Hawks Varsity Hockey Takeaways

Sophomore forward AJ Francisco made his varsity debut season memorable, including scoring five goals in three state Class A games and a hat trick in a memorable semifinal win over defending state champion Mahtomedi.

Junior defenseman Henry Peterson showed why St. Thomas snatched him from the paws of the hometown Bulldogs, among several other Division I schools who offered a scholarship. He used his length and speed to turn over pucks and start the offense out of the Hawks' defensive zone, often rushing the puck into the offensive zone on his own.