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Wyatt Farrell, Minnesota's second-leading goal scorer, drawing eyes to La Crescent hockey

Wyatt Farrell is one of the top goal scorers in Minnesota. This year he's added some physicality to his game and has become one of the best all-around players in the area.

La Crescent-Hokah’s Wyatt Farrell (2) takes a shot during a boys hockey game against Lourdes on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, at Graham Arena in Rochester. Farrell is the second-leading goal scorer in the state this season, with 52 in 24 games.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo

La CRESCENT, Minn. — Eriah Hayes has coached high school hockey for four seasons.

He’s been around the game for three decades, from his time growing up in La Crescent, to his college days at Minnesota State University, Mankato, then to his professional career, which spanned four seasons and included 20 games with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks.

So he chooses his words and his praise carefully.
But Hayes, the boys hockey head coach and Activities Director at La Crescent-Hokah, doesn’t hold back when it comes to talking about Lancers’ star forward Wyatt Farrell.

“I’ve had Wyatt on the team for all four years I’ve coached here,” Hayes told the Post Bulletin last week. “He gets it. He gets the game. He has this will to win that I have never seen before. He does everything he can for himself and his teammates to succeed.

“Having guys like him is so key to a program because (leadership) can’t always come from a coach.”


Farrell, a 5-foot-8, 165-pound junior forward, has already surpassed his coach’s high school goals total. Hayes finished his four-year career with the Lancers with 135 goals and 232 points. Farrell passed Hayes last week, with his second goal of a two-goal game against Onalaska.

Farrell now has 144 career goals and 191 points and has helped La Crescent-Hokah to one of its best seasons ever. The Lancers bring an 18-6-0 record into Tuesday night's regular-season finale, at home, against Dodge County.

Wyatt Farrell

“It’s been really fun,” Farrell said. “I’ve been playing (at the varsity level) for four years and we’ve had a lot more success this year than in years past, especially with this group of guys. It’s nice to have that depth; it takes some of the stress off me to score and allows me to help the team more and play well defensively.”

Farrell has scored no fewer than 21 in a season since joining the varsity as an eighth-grader in 2019-20. This season, he has topped the 50-goal mark for the first time, with 52 goals and 71 points through 24 games, a 2.96 points-per-game average. Farrell has scored at least once in 23 games, he has 17 multiple-goal games and nine hat tricks.

His numbers have drawn attention from across the state, literally. Farrell’s 52 goals are the second-most in Minnesota boys hockey this winter, behind only the 68 scored by Tyler Hennen of Kittson Central, a program that couldn’t be farther apart from La Crescent geographically. Hallock is tucked in the extreme northwestern corner of the state, a few miles from the Canadian border and approximately 550 miles from La Crescent.

“Wyatt, every single day he’s so consistent in the way he comes to the rink ready to work,” Hayes said of Farrell, who finished second in the state last season with 49 goals scored. “He always wants to get better, wants the team to get better. He’s going to make success come to fruition through hard work and determination.

“I talked to him early this year about his physical play and he’s added that bit of nastiness to his game. He’s hard to play against in our defensive zone and he’s using his body more than he ever has before.”

Farrell said that physicality was easy to add to his game.


“I just try to get into the hard areas and work and battle,” he said. “I’m trying to work hard and always trying to get the puck back for our team, however I have to do it.”

La Crescent’s Wyatt Farrell (2) enters the ice before a boys hockey game against Lourdes Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, at Graham Arena in Rochester. Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo

Farrell has starred on the Lancers’ power play — 11 of his 52 goals have come on the man-advantage — but by becoming a dominant presence in the defensive zone, he has become equally effective on the penalty kill.

“One-hundred percent, that (physicality) will help him going forward,” Hayes said of Farrell, who hopes to play junior hockey in the NAHL or USHL, then play college hockey, when his high school career is done. “That was the one thing missing, that nastiness, that edge to his game. And he’s added it this year. He’s taken a lot of pride in his defensive play.

“He’s just hard to beat, all over the ice, five-on-five or when he’s killing penalties. He leads by example and is the perfect kid to point to and say ‘that’s the way we do things here.’”

Simply put, Farrell is a natural goal-scorer. He has found ways to continue to score, despite opposing defenses focusing their game plan on stopping him.

“He’s found ways to adapt,” Hayes said. “Every team we play is honing in on Wyatt and taking an extra guy, putting him on him. He’s found a way to adapt and use his teammates. He moves the puck so well and is so hard to keep in check because of his tenacity and his will to succeed.

“He’s not afraid to go to the net, get to the hard areas. He’s changed his game and he has played bigger than his size. He’s a tough matchup no matter what.”

The Farrell File

La Crescent-Hokah junior foward Wyatt Farrell is putting up numbers unseen in the Lancers' program since his head coach, Eriah Hayes, played there in the mid-2000s. Hayes finished his high school career with 232 points. Farrell could challenge that total by the time his high school career is finished. Here's a look at what the young star has done so far:


Jason Feldman is the sports editor of the Post Bulletin. In addition to managing the four-person sports staff at the PB, Jason covers high school football, golf and high school and junior hockey. Readers can reach Jason at 507-281-7430 or jfeldman@postbulletin.com.
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