NHL Central Scouting released their Players to Watch list on Nov. 15 in preparation for the 2017 NHL Draft. The annual list identifies players using the following criteria:
- A Rating – indicates a 1st round candidate
- B Rating – indicates a 2nd/3rd round candidate
- C Rating – indicates a 4th/5th/6th round candidate
- LV (Limited Viewing) – injured players who have not had sufficient viewing to be categorized
CLICK HERE FOR LIST OF USHL PLAYERS
54 players on USHL rosters this season were named to the list. The 54 players was an increase since the preliminary rankings, and rank second most of any junior league in the world. In addition, 15 USHL alumni who played last season were named to the list, nine of which are still playing college hockey or a hockey league that allows for college eligibility. In total, 57 players with USHL ties are currently committed or playing college hockey, including 21 A-rated or B-rated skaters.
The news comes after the 2017 NHL Draft in which every USHL team had at least one player selected in the NHL Draft. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in five consecutive NHL Drafts, and more than 400 players on team rosters last season were committed to NCAA Division I schools.
All 17 member clubs featured at least one player on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch List, while 12 teams boasted multiple players: Team USA (17), Lincoln Stars (4), Muskegon Lumberjacks (4), Sioux City Musketeers (4), Central Illinois Flying Aces (3), Des Moines Buccaneers (3), Waterloo Black Hawks (3), Youngstown Phantoms (3), Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (2), Green Bay Gamblers (2), Omaha Lancers (2) and Tri-City Storm (2).
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 16th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2017-18. 30 or more players from the USHL have been selected in five consecutive NHL Drafts, and more than 400 players on team rosters last season committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.