Nine NAHL players listed on final NHL Central Scouting rankings
The North American Hockey League (NAHL) is pleased to announce that several players have been recognized on the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Central Scouting's final ranking of North American skaters and goalies for the 2021 NHL Draft.
The list this year includes nine players that played in the NAHL during the 2020-21 season.
The NAHL is expecting hundreds of NCAA and NHL scouts at the 2021 Robertson Cup Championship and NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, which are being played in cooperation with one another June 18-22, 2021 at Fogerty Arena in Blaine, MN.
Despite the fact the NAHL had no events yet during the 2020-21 season, the NAHL has continued to thrive in terms of player advancement. To date, the NAHL currently has 329 NCAA commitments during the 2020-21 season, which is well ahead of last season’s record-breaking pace. That includes a new record number of 281 NCAA Division 1 commitments.
Last season, the NAHL had a record number of 362 NCAA commitments. In addition, the NAHL has had more than 1,500+ NCAA commitments and 36 NHL Draft picks in the last six years, which has coincided with an increased presence on the annual NHL Central Scouting players to watch list.
2020-21 NAHL players on the list
Owen Bartoszkiewicz, G, Wichita Falls Warriors – Bartoszkiewicz, 18, has had a very good rookie season. The 6’2/195 lbs. native of Rochester, MI, appeared in 41 games during the 2020-21 regular season and posted a 23-14-4 record with a 2.44 goals against average and .917 save percentage. His six shutouts were 2nd among NAHL goaltenders.
Anton Castro, G, Northeast Generals – Castro, 18, appeared in 16 games during his rookie junior season. The 6’2/180 lbs. native Mendota Heights, MN, and Boston University commit posted a 3-8-1 record with a 3.72 goals against average and .900 save percentage.
Kyle Kukkonen, F, Minot Minotauros – Kukkonen, 18, played in 19 games during the 2020-21 regular season. The 5’10/170 lbs. native of Maple Grove, MN, and Michigan Tech recruit had 16 points (9 goals, 7 assists) and was named the Central Division Star of the Week for December 7-13.
Owen Millward, G, Janesville Jets - Millward, 18, appeared in 25 games during his rookie season in the NAHL, posting a 13-8-2 record. The 6’3/205 lbs. native of Davis, CA, posted a 3.27 goals against average and a .901 save percentage.
Jacob Napier, D, Aberdeen Wings - Napier, 18, is a Western University commit and made his NAHL debut with the Aberdeen Wings towards the end of the season. The 6’2/190 lbs. native on Lancaster, NY, played the majority of the season in the NAPHL for the Northstar Knights 18U team and also played in the 2020-21 NAPHL All-Star Game.
Joe Palodichuk, D, Bismarck Bobcats – Palodichuk, 18, appeared in 20 regular season games with the Bobcats during the 2020-21 campaign. The 6’0/165 lbs. native of Cottage Grove, MN, and University of Wisconsin recruit posted five assists in those 20 games.
Luke Pavicich, G, Kenai River Brown Bears – Pavicich, 19, was one of the busiest goalies in the NAHL this past season. The 6’3/175 lbs. native of Clarence Center, NY, appeared in 36 regular season games in 2020-21, posting a 19-14-1 record. The UMass recruit had a 2.86 goals against average and a .919 save percentage and was named the Midwest Division Star of the Week for January 25-31.
Joey Pierce, D, Minnesota Wilderness – Pierce, 18, appeared in 22 regular season games during the 2020-21 regular season. The 6’0/195 lbs. native of Hermantown, MN, and Minnesota-Duluth recruit put up seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) in his rookie campaign.
Arsenii Sergeev, G, Shreveport Mudbugs – Sergeev, 18, had a very good season for the South Division Champion Mudbugs. The 6’3/190 lbs. native of Yaroslavl, Russia, appeared in 20 games during the 2020-21 regular season and posted a 14-4-2 record with a 2.17 goals against average and a .936 save percentage. He was named the South Division Star of the Week twice on February 1-7 and April 19-25.