Sioux Falls, S.D. – The Sioux Falls Stampede had six players within the organization and one former player listed on the National Hockey League Central Scouting preliminary players to watch list issued Monday. The annual list recognizes the top draft eligible players ahead of the 2020 NHL Draft the following June.
Players named to the NHL Central Scouting are identified by a letter grade based on the potential round the player may be drafted. The ‘A’ rating indicates a potential first-round candidate, a ‘B’ rating indicates a potential second- or third-round candidate, and a ‘C’ rating indicates a potential fourth-, fifth-, or sixth-round candidate.
Of the seven players named, forward Jakub Lewandowski and defenseman Evan Bushy currently skate for the club. Lewandowski, a Torun, Poland, native, has two goals in three games so far this season. Lewandowski joined the team from HC Vitkovice U19 in the Czech Republic, where he tallied 22 goals and 26 assists for 48 points. Bushy, a Thief River Falls, Minn., native, skated the blue line for Thief River Falls High, scoring 18 goals and 15 assists for 33 points in 23 games last season. Both skaters received ‘C’ ratings.
Former Stampede defenseman Yan Kuznetsov, now at the University of Connecticut, was given a B rating. Kuznetsov played in 34 games for the Herd during the 2018-19 season, tallying four assists. He is the highest-rated defenseman since Ryan Johnson was selected in the first round, 31st overall in the 2019 NHL Draft by the Buffalo Sabres.
Other players include affiliate-listed players defensemen Nate Schweitzer, Ethan Edwards and Victor Mancini and forward Jack Smith. All affiliates received ‘C’ ratings.
A record five Stampede players were selected in the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver last June. The 2020 NHL Draft takes place June 26 and 27 at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.