CHICAGO, Ill. - After a season that saw the USHL complete 98 percent of its scheduled games during a global COVID-19 pandemic, the USHL had 74 players listed on the final NHL Central Scouting rankings ahead of the 2021 NHL Draft.
Among those players listed, skaters with USHL ties account for five of the top-10 North American skaters and 17 of the top-32.
FULL LIST OF USHL PLAYERS ON THE FINAL RANKINGS
With the second pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, the newest NHL franchise Seattle Kraken will make their first ever draft pick. If they are to choose a player with USHL ties taken with a franchise's first-ever draft selection, it would mark the second time in NHL history a franchise has used its first pick on a player with USHL experience (Rostislav Klesla, Columbus Blue Jackets, 2000, Round 1, #4 overall) and would be the highest selection of a USHL player with a team's first ever NHL Draft selection. In their first NHL Draft, seven NHL franchises (Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Columbus, Nashville Predators, San Jose Sharks, Vegas Golden Knights, Winnipeg Jets) have selected a player with USHL experience:
- Rostislav Klesla (Columbus, 2000, 1st franchise selection)
- Ken Sauer (Nashville, 1998, 4th franchise selection)
- Matt Peterson (Anaheim, 1993, 7th franchise selection)
- Nick Lent (Arizona, 1996, 7th franchise selection)
- Maksim Zhukov (Vegas, 2017, 7th franchise selection)
- Stephen Baby (Winnipeg*, 1999, 8th franchise selection)
- Corwin Saurdiff (San Jose, 1991, 10th franchise selection)
* selection was made as the Atlanta Thrashers
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the 2020-21 season will be the USHL's 19th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league. The USHL had 51 players selected at the 2020 NHL Draft, marking the third-straight season with 50-or-more USHL players selected in the Draft. More than 800 league alumni are currently on NCAA Division I rosters, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.