St. Cloud, MN – Beginning with Tony Schmalzbauer in 1986, the Huskies have had 69 players drafted in the Division One era. The highest-drafted player was Dennis Cholowski who was the 20th pick in the first round in 2016. The other first-rounder was Ryan Poehling taken with the 25th pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Players born between January 1, 2002, and September 15, 2004, are eligible for selection in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. Additionally, un-drafted, non-North American players born in 2001 are eligible for the draft; and those players who were drafted in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, but not signed by an NHL team and who were born after June 30, 2002, are also eligible to re-enter the draft.
It’s a certainty that incoming forward Adam Ingram will be selected in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft which takes place on July 7–8, 2022, at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. It’s also quite likely that recently committed defenseman, Leo Gruba will be selected along the way in this seven-round event. With that said, let’s take a look at the current crop of St. Cloud State University Huskies recruits/commits with eligibility and an opportunity to be drafted:
Adam Ingram (Forward) West St. Paul, MB, CAN
Rankings: #27 NHL Central Scouting; #46 Elite Prospects; #49 McKeen’s; #58 Dobber Prospects
2021-22 Statistics: 54-26-29-55 | 30 PIM +10 (USHL)
The 6’2″ 174-pound 18-year-old forward had an immediate impact with the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL leading the squad in scoring and finishing second in the league in rookie scoring. Ranked 14th in the Central Scouting mid-term rankings, he dropped to 27th in the final rankings partly due to several stretches during the second half of the season with a lack of offensive production.
The tall, lean forward is certainly a project and needs to improve his skating and add some muscle and weight but he has an NHL-caliber shot and at age 18 proved he can thrive in the highest level of USA junior hockey. He’s deadly from 15-20 feet out with his deceptive quick release and should make an immediate impact for the Huskies on the power play.
Look for Ingram to be taken in the second round of the draft.
Leo Gruba (Defense) Lake Elmo, MN USA
Rankings: #125 Central Scouting; #138 McKeens Hockey
2021-22 Statistics: 31-12-21-33 | 16 PIM (USHS-MN); 10-1-4-5 | 2 PIM +3 (NAHL)
Gruba follows in the footsteps of his father who was taken in the 1990 NHL draft by the Detroit Red Wings.
The 6’2″ 205-pound right-shooting defenseman had quite a 2021-22 hockey season captaining the Hill-Murray Pioneers to third place in the Class AA Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament and being named to the Class AA All-Tournament team. Additionally, he was honored by being a finalist for the Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award and was the winner of the 2022 Reed Larson Award as the state’s top senior defenseman.
He has all the characteristics the NHL is looking for in an athletic puck-moving defenseman with size that loves to join the rush. He’s dangerous in transition as he can fire accurate passes up ice or get his legs going to catch the opposition flat-footed. There is no panic in his game and his release is next level. The 18-year-old Gruba will have a year or two to refine his game in the USHL and work on the defensive side of the puck which could dictate his future as a pro.
Gruba will most likely be a late-round pick possibly in the 5th to 7th round.
Barrett Hall (Forward) Apple Valley, MN USA
2021-22 Statistics: 25-25-30-55 | 14 PIM (USHS-MN); 19-5-15-20 | 8 PIM +8 (NAHL)
The four-year player for Gentry Academy (Vadnais Heights, MN) became the Star’s all-time leading scorer during the 2021-22 season accumulating 186 points (86 goals, 100 assists) in 94 games. The 18-year-old had an exemplary high school career contributing 15 goals as a freshman and in excess of 20 goals per season for the balance of his high school career for an outstanding 1.94 points per game.
Pre and post the Minnesota High School season, Hall played 19 games for the Minnesota Wilderness of the NAHL posting 5 goals and 15 assists for 20 points in 19 games. He finished with an offensive flurry with 7 multi-point games in the last 10 contests.
Hall is the true definition of a “sleeper” and hasn’t been ranked by any scouting service and as such is a stretch to be drafted as a first-year eligible. However, his success on the ice is unquestionable and as the highest-drafted Minnesotan (3rd pick overall) in the 2022 USHL Phase II Draft can’t be overlooked.
Hall is a high-energy player with high skill and good puck skills. His game needs to mature and he needs to take it to the next level in USHL.
Unfortunately, the timing is probably not right for Hall unless a team uses a late-round pick for this future prospect.
Others With 2022 NHL Draft Eligibility:
- Jack Rogers (Forward) East Northport, NY | 2021-22 Statistics: 54-30-37-67 54 PIM (MJHL)
- Ethan Aucoin (Forward) Calgary, AB | 2021-22 Statistics: 60-36-27-63 40 PIM (AJHL)
- Tyson Gross (Forward) Calgary, AB | 2021-22 Statistics: 23-4-4-8 23 PIM (USHL)
- Grant Ahcan (Forward) Burnsville, MN | 2021-22 Statistics: 61-12-13-25 45 PIM (USHL)
- James Gray (Goaltender) Toronto, ONT | 2021-22 Statistics: 25-9-2; 1.96 GAA .931 SV% (OJHL)
- Thor Byfuglien (Defense) Roseau, MN | 2021-22 Statistics: 27-13-32-45 (USHS-MN); 10-0-1-1 (USHL)
- Verner Miettinen (Forward) Espoo, FIN | 2021-22 Statistics: 35-11-20-31 14 PIM (U20 SM-sarja)
- Evan Bushy (Defense) Thief Rivers Falls, MN | 2021-22 Statistics: 52-6-25-31 22 PIM (BCHL)
- Martins Lavins (Forward) Riga, LAT | 2021-22 Statistics: 50-4-11-15 64 PIM (USHL)
- Kaleb Tiessen (Defense) Windsor, ONT | 2021-22 Statistics: 50-6-24-30 54 PIM (OJHL)
No Longer Eligible for NHL Draft:
- Cooper Wylie (Defense) Stillwater, MN | 2021-22 Statistics: 47-6-21-27 34 PIM (USHL)
- Mason Reiners (Defense) Edina, MN | 2021-22 Statistics: 38-4-10-14 67 PIM (USHL)
SCSU Huskies in the NHL Draft
Tony Schmalzbauer | New York Islanders 1986 6/122
Tim Hanus | Quebec Nordiques 1987 7/135
Jeff Saterdalen | New York Islanders 1987 7/160
Dan Brettschneider | Washington Capitals 1987 12/240
Lenny Esau | Toronto Maple Leafs 1988 7/86
Shorty Forrest | New York Islanders 1988 9/173
Jeff Kruesel | Los Angeles Kings 1988 7/133
Chic Pojar | Chicago 1988 8/155
Bret Hedican | St. Louis Blues 1988 10/198
Joe Larson | Winnipeg Jets 1989 10/193
Greg Hagen | Pittsburgh Penguins 1989 10/205
Noel Rahn | Quebec Nordiques 1989 12/252
Tony Burns | Detroit Red Wings 1990 5/87
Tony Gruba | Detroit Red Wings 1990 9/171
Brett Lievers New York Rangers 1990 11/223
Bill Lund | Philadelphia Flyers 1990 12/235
Eric Johnson | Vancouver Canucks 1991 8/161
Jay Moser | Boston Bruins 1991 8/172
Dan Reiman | New Jersey Devils 1991 9/187
P. J. Lepler | Montreal Canadiens 1991 11/237
Dan O’Shea | Minnesota North Stars 1991 5/14
Jason Stewart | New York Islanders 1994 6/142
Brian Leitza Pittsburgh Penguins 1994 6/142
Mike Rucinski | Hartford Whalers 1995 8/217
Matt Cullen | Anaheim Mighty Ducks 1996 2/35
Josh DeWolf | New Jersey Devils 1996 2/41
Mark Parrish | Colorado Avalanche 1996 3/79
Brian Gaffaney | Pittsburgh Penguins 1997 2/44
Tyler Arnason | Chicago 1998 7/183
Ryan Malone | Pittsburgh Penguins 1999 4/115
Doug Meyer | Pittsburgh Penguins 1999 6/176
Jeff Finger | Colorado Avalance 1999 8/240
Matt Hendricks | Nashville Predators 2000 5/131
Doug Meyer | Pittsburgh Penguins 1999 6/176
Brock Hooton | Ottawa Senators 2002 5/150
Bobby Goepfert | Pittsburgh Penguins 2002 6/171
Tim Conboy | San Jose Sharks 2002 7/217
Matt Gens | Vancouver Canucks 2002 9/278
Jonathan Lehun | St.Louis Blues 2003 6/189
Joe Jensen | Pittsburgh Penguins 2003 8/232
Casey Borer | Carolina Hurricanes 2004 3/69
Andrew Gordon | Washington Capitals 2004 7/197
Andreas Nodl | Philadelphia Flyers 2006 2/39
Nick Oslund | Detroit Red Wings 2006 7/191
Jase Weslosky | New York Islanders 2006 4/108
Aaron Marvin | Calgary Flames 2007 3/89
Dan Dunn | Washington Capitals 2007 6/154
Garrett Roe | Los Angeles Kings 2008 7/183
Ben Hanowski | Pittsburgh Penguins 2009 3/63
Mike Lee | Phoenix Coyotes 2009 3/91
Oliver Lauridsen | Philadelphia Flyers 2009 7/196
Cam Reid | Nashville Predators 2009 7/192
Nick Jensen | Detroit Red Wings 2009 5/150
Nic Dowd | Los Angeles Kings 2009 7/198
Nick Oliver | Nashville Predators 2009 4/110
Kevin Gravel | Los Angeles Kings 2010 5/148
Judd Peterson | Buffalo Sabres 2012 7/204
Jonny Brodzinski | Los Angeles Kings 2013 5/148
Ben Storm | Colorado Avalanche 2013 6/153
Will Borgen | Buffalo Sabres 2015 4/92
Mikey Eyssimont | Los Angels Kings 2016 5/142
Dennis Cholowski | Detroit Red Wings 2016 1/20
Ryan Poehling | Montreal Canadiens 2017 1/25
Nick Perbix | Tampa Bay Lightning 2017 6/169
David Hrenak | Los Angeles Kings 2018 5/144
Sam Hentges | Minnesota Wild 2018 7/210
Dominic Basse | Chicago Blackhawks 2019 6/167
Veeti Miettinen | Toronto Maple Leafs 2020 6/168
Jack Peart | Minnesota Wild 2021 2/54