by: NAHL Media Staff
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) continues to set new standards for NCAA and NHL recognition fresh off of another record-breaking NAHL Showcase. The NAHL is pleased to announce that 10 players were recognized today on the National Hockey League’s (NHL) ‘Prospects to Watch’ list for 2018 draft-eligible players with the release of NHL Central Scouting’s preliminary list of players to watch in North America and Europe.
The list included 7 players that are currently playing in the NAHL this season and 3 former players that are in other leagues.
The only other non-major junior league in North America that had more players listed than the NAHL was the USHL.
A total of 55 NHL scouts, including those from NHL Central Scouting, were on hand at the NAHL Showcase two weeks ago scouting players at the NAHL Showcase.
The record-breaking 305 NCAA commitments this past season and 1,200 NCAA commitments and 17 NHL Draft picks in the last five years have coincided with an increased presence on the annual NHL Central Scouting players to watch list.
The lists, comprised of “A,” “B” and “C” players for the upcoming season in each of the major junior hockey leagues, are sent to NHL team scouts for the purpose of tracking the top draft-eligible players entering the 2017-18 season. All “A” skaters have been identified as potential first-round picks, while “B” players are considered second- or third-round candidates. The players on the “C” list are thought to be fourth-, fifth- or sixth-round possibilities. Central Scouting’s preliminary rankings will be revealed in November. That list includes the top 25 prospects for each of the various leagues throughout North America and Europe.
Current NAHL players on the list (alphabetical)
Mitchell Gibson, G, Lone Star Brahmas
Aaron Grounds, F, Minot Minotauros
Daniel Lebedeff, G, Janesville Jets
Joseph Mancuso, F, Northeast Generals
Ben Schultheis, D, Minnesota Magicians
Ryan Ullan, G, Bismarck Bobcats
Quinn Warmuth, D, Amarillo Bulls
NAHL players now in another league
Paul Cotter, F, Lincoln Stars/USHL (Brookings Blizzard)
Chase Hartje, D, Moose Jaw Warriors/WHL (Bismarck Bobcats)
Jake Kucharski, G, Des Moines Bucs/USHL (Austin Bruins)
NHL Central Scouting will release its midseason rankings of 2018 draft-eligible players in January, followed by its final rankings in April. The Dallas Stars will host the 2018 NHL Draft at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Next year’s Draft will be held over two days on June 22-23.
A total of 17 players have been selected right after playing in the NAHL in the past five NHL Drafts.