PLYMOUTH, Mich. - Twenty-one members of the 2022-23 U.S. National Under-18 Team and three former NTDP players were named to the National Hockey League Central Scouting's Midseason rankings ahead of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. The draft is set to take place June 28-29 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
Fischer celebrating a USA win (Photo by Rena Laverty)
The NTDP was well-represented up high on the list as forwards Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.) and Ryan Leonard (Amherst, Mass.) checked in as the second and third ranked North American skaters, respectively. They were followed close behind by Oliver Moore (Mounds View, Minn.), who was ranked sixth.
Gabe Perreault (Hinsdale, Ill.) slotted in at 15th overall, while NTDP alum and current University of Wisconsin forward Charlie Stramel (Rosemount, Minn.) and Danny Nelson (Maple Grove, Minn.) rounded out the projected Round 1 prospects at 21 and 22.
Team USA defensemen were the name of the game for graded Round 2 prospects. Paul Fischer (River Forest, Ill.) led the pack at 52, and Aram Minnetian (Woodcliff Lake, N.J.), Drew Fortescue (Pearl River, N.Y.) and Brady Cleveland (Wausau, Wis.) were all ranked consecutively from 57-59th overall.
Two alums in defenseman Hunter Brzustewicz (Washington Twp., Mich.) and Gracyn Sawchyn (Chaska, Minn.) were also labeled as potential Round 2 selections.
Four additional U18 skaters graded out as Round 3 prospects in advance of the draft. Austin Burnevik (Blaine, Minn.) found himself at 68th overall, while Zach Schulz (South Lyon, Mich.), Alex Weiermair (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Beckett Hendrickson (Minnetonka, Minn.) were bunched up at numbers 91, 93 and 94.
Will Vote (Arlington, Mass.) was the lone player graded in Round 4 as he slotted in at 121st on the list.
Charlie Cerrato (Fallston, Md.), Ryan Fine (Center Moriches, N.Y.), Salvatore Guzzo (Old Tappan, N.J.) and Nathan Tobey (Lantana, Texas) rounded out the ranked skaters for Team USA.
Between the pipes, Trey Augustine (South Lyon, Mich.) led the way as the third ranked North American goalie. Carsen Musser (Sherburn, Minn.) was close behind at fifth overall and Michael Chambre (Fort Myers, Fla.) checked in at 24th.
Defenseman Zeev Buium (San Diego, Calif.) is the lone current U18 player who is not eligible for the 2023 NHL Draft.
The 2023 NHL Draft will happen on June 28-29 at Bridgestone Arena, home of the NHL's Nashville Predators.