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NHL Central Scouting Preliminary Players to Watch

By Tony Scott, 10/07/19, 5:00PM CDT


20 Minnesota natives earn spots in NHL Central's Scouting initial list of 2020 NHL Draft prospects.

20 MN Players tabbed as potential 2020 NHL Draft Picks

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.  

Tony's Take

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)

Minnesotans on NHL Central Scouting PTW

Blake Biondi, Hermantown (B Grade)

First Name Last Name Hometown 2019-20 team College Grade
Blake Biondi Hermantown Hermantown - HS Minnesota-Duluth B
Brock Faber Maple Grove USNTDP Uncommited 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
Connor Kelley Maple Grove USNTDP Minnesota-Duluth 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).

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