Less than a month before the 2017 NHL Draft, four future Minnesota players - forwards Casey Mittelstadt and Scott Reedy along with defensemen Nate Knoepke and Clayton Phillips
- are in Buffalo, NY to take part in this week's Scouting Combine.
All except Phillips signed Letters of Intent to play at Minnesota. He is expected to be on campus in 2018, a year later than the others.
The scouting combine, which began Monday and goes until Saturday (June 3, 2017), can be an opportunity for draft-eligible players to interview with all 31 NHL teams and undergo medical and physical testing.
103 prospects are participating. Of those, the Gopher quartet make up four of 29 with collegiate ties. Only Boston University has a larger contingent.
Minnesota's group were all ranked among the top 100 North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, led by Mittelstadt, the highest ranked player with collegiate ties at #3 and one of a few in discussion to go in the top-10. (Others include incoming UMass defender Cale Markar and incoming Boston College forward Eeli Tolvanen.) Reedy is 40th, Knoepke 79th and Phillips at 99.
Two other draft eligible Minnesota commits - Sam Huff and Brannon McManus - not attending the combine were also ranked by NHL Central Scouting last month.
The 2017 NHL Draft takes place June 23-24 in Chicago.