NHL Central Scouting released their preliminary list of players to watch for the 2021 NHL Draft. There are 18 Minnesotans on list, headlined by the talented Chaz Lucius, a University of Minnesota recruit and current member of the NTDP U-18 Team. Lucius was given an ‘A’ ranking by Central Scouting, meaning he’s rated as a potential first round pick. Lucius has not played so far this season as he has been sidelined with a lower body injury. There was not a Minnesota player rated as an ‘A’ on last year’s preliminary players to watch.
The Minnesota rankings are standard as there tends to be 15-20 players on the list annually. Last season there were 20 players on the preliminary list. Jake Ratzlaff is the only Minnesotan that is an “overager” on the list as he was not selected in the 2020 NHL Draft due to concerns that he will choose football instead of hockey. Ratzlaff was rated as a ‘B’ prospect last season.