Mason Langenbrunner, Eden Prairie HS (C Grade)
The National Hockey League's Central Scouting department released its first list of players to watch Monday. The list is broken into three grade categories - A (first round), B (second to third round) and C fourth to sixth round). 20 Minnesota natives were on the ever-changing list Monday. Zero made the top "A" list, but five were given a "B" rating and the remaining 15 were listed as "C"-rated prospects.
Of the five B ranked players, four will be playing high school hockey this winter in Minnesota. Blake Biondi (Hermantown), Wyatt Kaiser (Andover), Jake Ratzlaff (Rosemount) and Carsen Richels (Blaine) will all don their respective local sweaters for the 2019-2020 MSHSL season. Brock Faber (Maple Grove) is skating this year for the National Development Team in Plymouth, MI.
Collegiately, Minnesota-Duluth has the most prospects on the list with five players. Minnesota follows with three, with St. Cloud State in third with two.
Out of the 26 players rated as "A" prospects, 19 are North Americans, with just three of those players hail from the United States. Jake Sanderson (Whitefish, MT/NTDP), Ty Smilanic (Denver, CO/NTDP), and Antonio Stranges (Plymouth, MI/London Knights) make up the American contingent.
Give credit to the NHL for beating the bushes this summer and early fall to weed out the top players in the world. Central Scouting will release a midterm ranking in late January, that list is more telling of what the draft may look like in June each year. For example, last fall Bobby Brink wasn't even listed in their Players to Watch and ended up the highest-rated Minnesota prospect in both the mid-term (January) and final rankings (April) and was a second round draft pick by the Philadelphia Flyers.
Carsen Richels, Blaine HS (B Grade)
Blake Biondi, Hermantown (B Grade)
|First Name||Last Name||Hometown||2019-20 team||College||Grade|
|Blake||Biondi||Hermantown||Hermantown - HS||Minnesota-Duluth||B|
|Wyatt||Kaiser||Andover||Andover - HS||Minnesota-Duluth||B|
|Jake||Ratzlaff||Rosemount||Rosemount - HS||Minnesota||B|
|Carsen||Richels||Blaine||Blaine - HS||New Hampshire||B|
|Cameron||Berg||White Bear Lake||Omaha - USHL||Nebraska-Omaha||C|
|Jake||Boltmann||Edina||Lincoln - USHL||Minnesota||C|
|Evan||Bushy||Thief River Falls||Sioux Falls - USHL||St. Cloud State||C|
|Matthew||Gleason||St. Paul||Cretin-Derham Hall - HS||Colorado College||C|
|Mason||Langenbrunner||Eden Prairie||Eden Prairie - HS||Harvard||C|
|Luc||Laylin||St. Michael||STMA - HS||Uncommited||C|
|Zach||Michaelis||Elk River||MN Wilderness - NAHL||Nebraska-Omaha||C|
|Christian||Miller||Coleraine||Greenway - HS||St. Cloud State||C|
|John||Mittelstadt||Eden Prairie||Eden Prairie - HS||Minnesota||C|
|Brett||Oberle||Woodbury||Hill-Murray - HS||Minnesota-Duluth||C|
|Nate||Schweitzer||Champlin||Benilde-St. Margret's - HS||Colorado College||C|
|Grant||Silianoff||Edina||Cedar Rapids - USHL||Notre Dame||C|
|Jack||Smith||St. Cloud||St. Cloud Cathedral - HS||Minnesota-Duluth||C|
|Mason||Wheeler||Rosemount||Rosemount - HS||Uncommited||C|
Nate Schweitzer, Benilde-St. Margaret's (C grade).