The list of top-10 NHL draft picks to play at UND is a small one.
Only six players are in that club: John Marks, James Patrick, Jason Herter, Brian Lee, Jonathan Toews and Tyson Jost.
According to the NHL's Central Scouting Bureau, UND recruit Jake Sanderson isn't far away from potentially joining that group.
Sanderson was ranked No. 11 among North American skaters in Central Scouting's midterm draft list, which was released Monday morning.
That means the 6-foot-2, 186-pound blue liner from Whitefish, Mont., is trending toward being a first-round pick during the NHL Draft, which will be held in Montreal in June.
Sanderson is just a junior in high school, but he's accelerating his education to graduate this spring, so he can attend UND in the fall.
Sanderson, the son of longtime NHL winger Geoff Sanderson, is an elite skater with strong offensive skills to go along with a sound defensive game.
He's not the only UND defenseman commit to watch in this draft.
Defenseman Tyler Kleven of Fargo and defenseman Mitchell Miller of Sylvania, Ohio, are ranked Nos. 44 and 48 among North-American skaters, putting them in the second-round range.
Kleven is playing for the U.S. Under-18 Team alongside Sanderson, while Miller plays for the Tri-City Storm in the United States Hockey League.
Three UND forward commits also are on the list.
Ethan Bowen, who plays for the Chilliwack Chiefs in the British Columbia Hockey League, is No. 77. Jackson Kunz, a Grand Forks native who plays for Shattuck-St. Mary's, is No. 113. And Stephen Halliday, who plays for the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL, is No. 178.
Kunz, a high school junior who previously played at Red River, leads Shattuck-St. Mary's in goals with 28 in 31 games this season. If he gets picked, it would mark the second-straight year that a Grand Forks player has been drafted. Judd Caulfield, a UND freshman who played at Grand Forks Central, was picked in the fifth round by the Pittsburgh Penguins last summer.
One other area player is listed by Central Scouting.
Defenseman Evan Bushy, who plays high school hockey at Thief River Falls, is No. 146. Bushy is committed to St. Cloud State, where his older brother, Brendan, is a sophomore defenseman.
UND commits on NHL Central Scouting's midterm list
No. 11 -- Jake Sanderson, D
No. 44 -- Tyler Kleven, D
No. 48 -- Mitchell Miller, D
No. 77 -- Ethan Bowen, F
No. 113 -- Jackson Kunz, F
No. 178 -- Stephen Halliday, F
No. 146 -- Evan Bushy (TRF), D, St. Cloud State commit