Sioux City right wing Sampo Ranta, a projected first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, was one of 40 players invited to participate in the 2018 United States Hockey League/NHL Top Prospects Game at the Viaero Center in Kearney, Nebraska, on Jan. 9, 2018.
The USHL released the rosters on Wednesday in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting. This year marks the sixth USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game; 13 participants from the 2017 top prospects game were selected in the 2017 NHL Draft. The 2018 NHL Draft will be held in Dallas on June 22-23.
"The USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game provides a unique opportunity for the management and scouts of the 31 NHL teams to view the top USHL talent available for the 2018 draft," said Dan Marr, director of NHL Central Scouting. "The prospects are encouraged to showcase their skills and abilities among their peers in this competitive and entertaining environment that brings out their best."
Ranta (6-foot-1, 192 pounds), who will attend the University of Wisconsin in 2018-19, is an A rated skater in NHL Central Scouting's November players to watch list. He leads the Musketeers with 11 points (seven goals, four assists) and 61 shots on goal in 17 games this season.
"Ranta's game is a combination of speed and power," said Greg Rajanen of NHL Central Scouting. "He attacks the blue line with speed and takes the puck to the net. He can really snap the puck and rarely passes up a shot. He's a threat to score every time he has the puck in the offensive zone."
The game will also feature seven B rated players, or potential second- and third-round picks in the 2018 draft: defensemen Michael Callahan of Central Illinois, and brothers Christian and Cole Krygier of Lincoln, as well as forwards Jaxon Nelson of Sioux Falls, Jack Drury of Waterloo, Blake McLaughlin of Chicago, and Jachym Kondelik of Muskegon.
Twins Christian and Cole Krygier are the sons of former NHL player Todd Krygier, and Drury is the son of former NHL player Ted Drury.
USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game
Goaltenders: Zach Stejskal, Central Illinois; Ivan Prosvetov, Youngstown
Defensemen: Michael Callahan, Central Illinois; Xan Gurney, Chicago; Graham Lillibridge, Chicago; Aidan Fulp, Dubuque; Jacob Semik, Dubuque; Marc Del Gaizo, Muskegon
Forwards: Harrison Roy, Cedar Rapids; Tyler Madden, Central Illinois; Blake McLaughlin, Chicago; Braden Costello, Des Moines; Alexander Steeves, Dubuque; Noah Prokop, Green Bay; Ryan O'Reilly, Madison; Jachym Kondelik, Muskegon; Matej Pekar, Muskegon; Mathias Emilio Pettersen, Muskegon; Max Ellis, Youngstown; Curtis Hall, Youngstown
Goaltenders: Jacob Kucharski, Des Moines; Jared Moe, Waterloo
Defensemen: Matthew Kessel, Fargo; Christian Krygier, Lincoln; Cole Krygier, Lincoln; Travis Mitchell, Omaha; John St. Ivany, Sioux Falls; Jace Foskey, Tri-City
Forwards: Ryan Savage, Fargo; Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup, Fargo; Paul Cotter, Lincoln; Philippe Lapointe, Lincoln; Devlin McCabe, Lincoln; Jack Randl, Omaha; Martin Pospisil, Sioux City; Sampo Ranta, Sioux City; Samuel Salonen, Sioux City; Jaxon Nelson, Sioux Falls; Wyllum Deveaux, Tri-City; Jack Drury, Waterloo