In its continuing trend of upward development of NCAA and NHL prospects, the North American Hockey League (NAHL) is pleased to announce the several players have been recognized on the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Central Scouting’s 2018 Mid-Term Rankings, which were released on January 22nd on nhl.com.
The list includes four players that are playing in the NAHL during the 2017-18 season, and five more players that played in the NAHL last season (2016-17).
A total of 55 NHL scouts, including those from NHL Central Scouting, were on hand at the NAHL back in September scouting players at the NAHL Showcase and have continued that scouting during the regular season at NAHL arenas.
The next big event for NHL scouts to see the NAHL’s talent on display is the 2018 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, which will be held in Plymouth, Michigan from February 27-28, 2018.
The NAHL Top Prospects Tournament is one of the most highly-scouted events of its kind. Last season, over 230 scouts attended the event, which featured almost every NHL team and NCAA Division I school. The event continues to provide the hundreds of NHL and NCAA scouts in attendance with a look at the best uncommitted players the NAHL has to offer, as well as, some potential NHL Draft picks.
Current NAHL Players on the list (alphabetical)
Mitchell Gibson, G, Lone Star Brahmas – Gibson, a Harvard commit, has been one of the top goalies in the NAHL all season long. The 6’1/186 lbs. native of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, is 2nd in the NAHL in goals against average with a 1.67 mark, 4th in save percentage at 93.0%, and tied for 1st in shutouts with 5.
Jurja Ovecka, G, Springfield Jr. Blues – The 6’6/197 lbs. native of Skalica, Slovakia, has had a very good year to date for the Jr. Blues. He has posted an 8-5-2 record with a 2.50 goals against average and a 92.9% save percentage, which ranks 5th in the NAHL.
Ben Schultheis, D, Minnesota Magicians – The 6’3/205 lbs. native of Mount Juliet, Tennessee, has appeared in 31 games this season for the Magicians and recorded four points.
Ryan Ullan, G, Bismarck Bobcats – The 6’1/189 lbs. native of Hibbing, Minnesota, who just committed to Northern Michigan University last week, has posted a 10-9-2 record this season in 22 appearances with a 2.66 goals against average and a 90.9% save percentage.
Former NAHL Players on the list, who played in the NAHL last season (alphabetical)
Paul Cotter, F, Brookings Blizzard (Lincoln Stars, USHL)
Chase Hartje, D, Bismarck Bobcats (Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL)
Jake Kucharski, G, Austin Bruins (Des Moines Bucs, USHL)
Ivan Prosvetov, G, Minnesota Magicians (Youngstown Phantoms, USHL)
Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup, F, Coulee Region Chill (Fargo Force, USHL)
NHL Central Scouting will release its final rankings of 2018 draft-eligibles 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.