The NHL Draft was supposed to be held in Montreal in June.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the NHL to change plans.

It will instead by held Tuesday and Wednesday virtually. The first round will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday on NBC Sports Network. The second through seventh rounds will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday on NHL Network.

UND rookie defenseman Jake Sanderson is expected to become one of the highest-drafted players in program history as he figures to be a top-15 pick.

He won't be alone in getting selected this week, though. As many as eight UND players and recruits are considered prospects. The others are UND rookies Tyler Kleven and Mitchell Miller, Fighting Hawks sophomore Ethan Frisch and UND commits Matteo Costantini, Stephen Halliday, Ethan Bowen and Jackson Kunz.

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Here's a quick rundown on all eight of them:

Jake Sanderson

Current team: UND freshman.

Major: Kinesiology.

Position: Defense.

Size: 6-0, 193.

Hometown: Whitefish, Mont.

The rundown: Sanderson will go in the top 15 picks of the NHL Draft. Most scouts view Sanderson and Jamie Drysdale as the top two blue liners available in the draft, but they are split on which one will go first. Sanderson could become the seventh UND player to be selected in the top 10 overall. The others are Jonathan Toews (No. 3, 2006), Jason Herter (No. 8, 1989), James Patrick (No. 9, 1981), John Marks (No. 9, 1968), Brian Lee (No. 9, 2005) and Tyson Jost (No. 10, 2016).

Rankings: Central Scouting 4, Future Considerations 12, TSN's Craig Button 11, DraftSite 11.

Former U.S. Under-18 Team coach Seth Appert says: "If Jake's not the best defender in the world for his birth year. . . I don't know who's better. He's 6-2. Incredible skater. Incredible, explosive skater. Mean. Physical. Blocks shots. Moves the puck. Transitions it really well. He's on the power play. He has everything you want, really. He's our captain. He's a winner. The guys think the world of him. And he's the kind of guy you want in your room."

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UND freshman Jake Sanderson skates in a game with the U.S. Under-18 Team last season. Photo by Rena Laverty / USA Hockey's NTDP
UND freshman Jake Sanderson skates in a game with the U.S. Under-18 Team last season. Photo by Rena Laverty / USA Hockey's NTDP

Tyler Kleven

Current team: UND freshman.

Major: Marketing.

Position: Defense.

Size: 6-4, 198.

Hometown: Fargo.

The rundown: Kleven seems most likely to land in the second round of the draft, though it's entirely possible that he sneaks into the end of the first round or drops to the third. If he goes into the first two rounds, he will become the highest-drafted North Dakota prep player. That distinction currently belongs to Lee Brodeur of Grafton. He went No. 65 to the Montreal Canadiens in 1984. Kleven played prep hockey at Fargo Davies as a sophomore.

Rankings: Central Scouting 42, Future Considerations 79, TSN's Craig Button 93, DraftSite 43.

Former U.S. Under-18 Team coach Seth Appert says: "Physical intimidation and physical play is still of major importance in the game of hockey and he has that in spades. He has that combined with being 6-4, really mobile and offensively talented. His numbers don't say that, but he is an offensively talented player. He's got a great stick. He shoots the puck a ton."

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UND commit Tyler Kleven of Fargo, who plays for the U.S. Under-18 Team, skates in a game against UND on Dec. 28 in Plymouth, Mich.  Rena Laverty / USA Hockey's NTDP
UND commit Tyler Kleven of Fargo, who plays for the U.S. Under-18 Team, skates in a game against UND on Dec. 28 in Plymouth, Mich. Rena Laverty / USA Hockey's NTDP

Mitchell Miller

Current team: UND freshman.

Major: Banking and financial economics.

Position: Defense.

Size: 5-9, 189.

Hometown: Sylvania, Ohio

The rundown: Miller had a big second half of the year while playing for the Tri-City Storm in the USHL. There's a wide range of opinions on where he could fall. He could go as high as the second round -- potentially even surpassing Kleven -- or drop into the middle or later rounds. Miller has played forward most of his life, but moved to defense a few years ago -- a move similar to that of Christian Wolanin, who was picked in the fourth round.

Rankings: Central Scouting 49, Future Considerations 201, TSN's Craig Button 106, DraftSite 73.

Tri-City coach Anthony Noreen says: "The first thing you notice is his skating. He might be faster with the puck on his stick than without it. He's able to create separation from defenders, join in the rush and be a real threat from the back end. He has elusiveness. He's able to use deception to create shooting lanes. Sometimes, it looks like he's out of room at the point, but he finds a way to create an opening. He's almost like a basketball player, who leaves a guy in the dust and almost breaks ankles with what he's able to do at the blue line."

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UND hockey commit Mitchell Miller of the Tri-City Storm makes a pass during a United States Hockey League game this season. Photo by Eldon Holmes / Tri-City Storm
UND hockey commit Mitchell Miller of the Tri-City Storm makes a pass during a United States Hockey League game this season. Photo by Eldon Holmes / Tri-City Storm

Matteo Costantini

Current team: Penticton (BCHL).

Projected UND arrival date: 2021.

Position: Forward.

Size: 6-0, 174.

Hometown: St. Catharine's, Ont.

The rundown: Costantini figures to be picked in the middle rounds. While many NHL teams set their draft boards by summertime and won't be adjusting them right now, it probably doesn't hurt if they peak at his stats and see he has seven points in four games to start the season in the British Columbia Hockey League.

Rankings: Central Scouting 94, Future Considerations 225.

Penticton coach Fred Harbinson says: "I think his hockey sense is really high. He's very explosive. He's a fast-twitch player. When there are loose pucks around the net, he's quick to get to them. He's explosive through holes. He's really hungry to finish plays. He can make plays but he also can score goals. He's a guy we definitely see playing on the power play. The exciting thing is he's a guy who is smart enough and dedicated enough to play on the kill, too."

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UND commit Matteo Costantini celebrates after scoring a goal with the Penticton Vees in the British Columbia Hockey League. Photo by Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography
UND commit Matteo Costantini celebrates after scoring a goal with the Penticton Vees in the British Columbia Hockey League. Photo by Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography

Stephen Halliday

Current team: Dubuque (USHL).

Projected UND arrival date: 2021.

Position: Forward.

Size: 6-4, 212.

Hometown: Glenwood, Md.

The rundown: Halliday is expected to go anywhere between the fourth and seventh rounds. With a large frame and a good skillset to go with it, someone figures to take Halliday. The only question is exactly where he will go.

Rankings: Central Scouting 123, Future Considerations 159, DraftSite 124.

Dubuque general manager Kalle Larson says: "He has elite hockey sense. He's more of a passer than a shooter. He's really good at protecting the puck and he makes plays. He played on a line with (Riese) Gaber last year and they were great together. He's a great kid who loves hockey. He really committed to getting more well-rounded last season and had 32 points in the last 31 games. We expect him to carry our team offensively this year."

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UND commit Stephen Halliday plays for the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL. Photo by Dubuque Fighting Saints.
UND commit Stephen Halliday plays for the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the USHL. Photo by Dubuque Fighting Saints.

Ethan Bowen

Current team: Chilliwack Chiefs (BCHL).

Projected UND arrival date: 2021.

Position: Forward.

Size: 6-2, 170.

Hometown: Chilliwack, B.C.

The rundown: NHL scouts never got the extended look at Bowen they hoped for last year. Bowen suffered an injury before he was supposed to compete in the World Junior A Challenge, which is a heavily scouted event. That could hurt his shot at getting picked. But he still may go in the later rounds.

Rankings: Central Scouting 119, Future Considerations 143, DraftSite 86.

Chilliwack coach Brian Maloney says: "It's unfortunate he broke his wrist at a time where he was at the peak of his game. He was supposed to play for Canada West. He made the prospects game, but he was unable to. It was quite unfortunate. He came back a little rusty, being off six weeks, but then showed signs of the old Ethan Bowen. He's the opposite of Jordan (Kawaguchi). He's tall, lanky and has to get stronger. In some ways, he's like Kohen (Olischefski). He gets open ice, slashes through areas, can beat you wide and has a great shot."

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UND commit Ethan Bowen is playing for the Chilliwack Chiefs in 2019-20. Photo by Darren Francis / Chilliwack Chiefs
UND commit Ethan Bowen is playing for the Chilliwack Chiefs in 2019-20. Photo by Darren Francis / Chilliwack Chiefs

Jackson Kunz

Current team: Green Bay (USHL).

Projected UND arrival date: 2022.

Position: Forward.

Size: 6-3, 215.

Hometown: Grand Forks.

The rundown: Kunz has a shot to sneak into the end of the NHL Draft. If he does, it will mark just the fourth time that Grand Forks high school players have been selected in back-to-back years. Judd Caulfield was picked in the fifth-round last year. The other three times it happened -- Chad Johnson and Mike Markovich in 1988 and 1989, Grant Potulny and Andy Schneider in 2000 and 2001 and cousins Paul LaDue and Luke Johnson in 2012 and 2013.

Rankings: Central Scouting 94, Future Considerations 246.

Green Bay coach Pat Mikesch says: "He has a powerful, all-around game. He's heavy with everything he does. He's got very unique in-tight, offensive skills -- tipping pucks, pulling pucks away from goalies and getting around them. He knows that and he loves playing net front. We talked about the power play and different places he's been. He said he's always at the top of crease. He has a good feeling of where strengths are at. One thing he wants to work at is being better through the middle of ice and in transition. His skating has come a long way. It's just being able to make more transition plays to get through defenders' sticks and skates to have more offensive entries as well. At Shattuck, he could probably lean on people. Our league will force him to play with more pace."

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Ethan Frisch

Current team: UND sophomore.

Major: Marketing.

Position: Defense.

Size: 5-11, 187.

Hometown: Moorhead.

The rundown: If you don't go in your first year of draft eligibility, your chances to be picked drop significantly. Frisch was passed over last year, so odds are that he will be again. However, he was impressive enough as a freshman that he caught the eye of NHL teams, who sent scouts to watch him. So, there is a chance.

Rankings: None.

UND coach Brad Berry says: "He's a sophomore but he looks like a veteran for us. He does everything well. He's a lot like Paul LaDue. When Paul was here, when he got thrown over the boards, a coach has a lot of trust that he will do the right things -- whether it's reads away from the puck, his gap control, his puck touches, smartly joining the offense or being a strong, responsible player. One thing NHL teams look for in defensemen is size. But when you see guys like Troy Stecher in the NHL right now, you don't have to be a big guy. Sure, size helps, but if you have good work ethic and smart habits, you can do it. We're really excited about him, because we'll have him for four years and he'll be a cornerstone of our 'D.'"

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North Dakota's Ethan Frisch skates past several St. Cloud State players during the first period of the Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, game at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. Dave Schwarz / St. Cloud Times
North Dakota's Ethan Frisch skates past several St. Cloud State players during the first period of the Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, game at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center in St. Cloud. Dave Schwarz / St. Cloud Times

Others not expected to be picked

Frisch and sophomore transfer Brendan Budy are the only undrafted players on UND's current roster who is still eligible to be picked. UND has five commits who are draft eligible but are not considered contenders to be selected: forward Nick Portz, forward Dane Montgomery, forward Ben Strinden, defenseman Luke Bast and goaltender Kaleb Johnson.