A total of 115 players with ties or eligibility to various hockey leagues across the United States appeared on the NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking of the top players eligible for the 2018 NHL Draft.
The 115 players represent those born in the United States as well as those associated with four U.S. hockey leagues, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association (107 players*), United States Hockey League (76 players), United States Hockey Schools (16 players) and North American Hockey League (12 players).
Eleven players with U.S. ties were given a first-round prospect grade, including 2nd-ranked Brady Tkachuk (NCAA, USHL, AAPG), 6th-ranked Quinn Hughes (NCAA, USHL, AAPG), 7th-ranked Oliver Wahlstrom (NCAA^, USHL, AAPG), 12th-ranked Joel Farabee (NCAA^, USHL, AAPG), 17th-ranked Bode Wilde (NCAA^, USHL, AAPG), 18th-ranked Sampo Ranta (NCAA^, USHL), 21st-ranked Mattias Samuelsson (NCAA^, USHL, AAPG), 23rd-ranked K’Andre Miller (NCAA^, USHL, AAPG), 24th-ranked Blake McLaughlin (NCAA^, USHL, AAPG), 26th-ranked Blade Jenkins (USHL) and 27th-ranked Jack Drury (NCAA^, USHL).
Of the 31 North American goaltenders ranked, 15 have U.S. ties, including two of the top five. Matthew Thiessen (NCAA^) and Keegan Karki (USHL) sit fourth and fifth, respectively.
In total, 23 players listed have skated at least one full season for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program located in Plymouth, Michigan, which competes in the United States Hockey League. Meanwhile, a total of 36 players have skated in a CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game.
Additionally, five players have skated for the United States in an International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship, including Brady Tkachuk, Quinn Hughes and Scott Perunovich, who helped Team USA win a bronze medal at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship on home ice in Buffalo, N.Y., this past January. Oliver Wahlstrom and Joel Farabee helped the U.S. win a gold medal at the 2017 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship and are among the 16 players ranked that will compete for Team USA at the 2018 IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship that begins play this Thursday (April 19) in Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk, Russia.
The 2018 NHL Draft will take place June 22-23 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Players born between January 1, 1998 and September 15, 2000, are eligible for selection.
To view the full NHL Central Scouting list, click here.
*includes 9 players who are uncommitted but eligible to play collegiate hockey
^designates NCAA commitment