October 26, 2017 07:34 PM
In 2009, Eden Prairie's Nick Leddy was named Mr. Hockey - the award given to the most outstanding high school hockey player in the state of Minnesota.
One of the finalists that year - who also happened to be the state's reigning football player of the year - was Edina's Anders Lee.
The two now skate as teammates for the New York Islanders, who are in town to face the Minnesota Wild Thursday night.
Click the video box on this page to see KSTP Sports story with Nick Leddy and Anders Lee discussing their old high school hockey rivalry and memories of the State Tournament at the Xcel Energy Center where they'll face the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night
"It's been a pretty crazy ride for us to end up here on the same team the last few years," Lee said in the Islanders locker room at the Xcel Center after Thursday morning's pregame stake.
"I don't think we beat them once in my whole career at Eden Prairie," Leddy said Thursday morning at the St Paul Hotel. "That team - let alone him and (Zach) Budish - is hard to forget. "
"Nick's a special player and always has been," Lee said. "I remember back in the day always trying to shut him down. It was 'Take Leddy out of the game!' But now it's the opposite, I tell him to take the puck everywhere."
Thursday's game against the Wild is a return to the same rink Lee and Leddy forged unforgettable memories at the State Hockey Tournament.
Lee skated in five State Tournaments: three with St Thomas Academy, two more after transferring to Edina.
"It means the world," Lee says. "You grow up here in Minnesota and - as you grow up - first is the State Tournament. College (hockey) and the NHL are second and third dreams as a kid, Being able to play as many times as I did is extremely special.
Leddy was a key component on Eden Prairie's first title-winning team in 2009.
"It was a dream fulfilled," Leddy says. "Getting there was one thing, but being lucky enough to win it was very special."
Those special memories come back to life every time the two return to St Paul as pros.
"To come back here and look up and see what you saw many years ago..." Leddy says with a smile, "It's pretty exciting."
Follow this link to see extended interview with Anders Lee, Nick Leddy and Warroad's Brock Nelson about returning to the State of Hockey to face the Wild as members of the New York Islanders, plus their memories of playing high school hockey and the State Tournament
Updated: October 26, 2017 07:34 PM
Created: October 26, 2017 01:59 PM
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