NHL Central Scouting released their first Players to Watch list today for players in Tier II Canadian leagues, US high schools, US AAA hockey, and the NAHL.
There's always a lot of players on this list, but here's a look at some of the 'A' players.
Sam Brittain-Goalie-Canmore(AJHL)-Brittain has been a hot commodity this year. A couple western schools like Denver, Wisconsin, and UNO has shown some pretty serious interest in him.
Charlie Coyle-Forward-South Shore(EJHL)(Boston U commit)-Coyle has played very well the past six months or so and has really solidified himself as a top notch player.
Kevin Hayes-Forward-Nobles Prep(Boston College commit)-Brother of BC's Jimmy Hayes. Not as hyped as Jimmy was at a young age, but he's come on strong as of late.
Mark Alt-Defenseman-Cretin-Derham Hall(Minnesota commit)-Alt got injured during the Elite League this year. He's got all the tools to be a first round pick, but I've heard some questions about his hockey sense.
Joe Basaraba-Forward-Shattuck(Minnesota-Duluth commit)-Biggest surprise among the 'A' players to me. Every time I've seen Basaraba, he looks like he's got all the physical tools, but doesn't seem to do much with it. I haven't seen him yet this year though, so maybe that opinion will change.
Nick Bjugstad-Forward-Blaine(Minnesota commit)-Bjugstad is starting to look like he could be a first round draft pick this year. He really started to fill out last year and was dominant by the end of the Minnesota high school season.
Jason Clark-Forward-Shattuck-Clark is a smooth skater and has been putting up big numbers with Shattuck this year. He's not committed anywhere yet, but has been touring some WCHA schools and a commitment should be coming shortly.
Max Gardiner-Forward-Minnetonka(Minnesota commit)-A very different player from his brother who was a first round draft pick two years ago. He's a big guy that works hard and plays a very physical brand of hockey.
Brock Nelson-Forward-Warroad(North Dakota commit)-Of the Minnesota guys, he's the one I'm least familiar with, but I've heard a lot of good things.
Zane Gothberg-Goalie-Thief River Falls(North Dakota commit)-Gothberg opted against playing in the USHL for his senior year which could hurt his draft status. It's not a bad choice considering he'll have to play a couple years of junior hockey before going to North Dakota anyway, and this gives him another shot to get TRF back to the state tournament, but it could push him down a couple rounds in the draft.