NHL draft: Big players, big-time prospects
Derek Forbort and Brock Nelson ran into each other at the NHL Combine in Toronto between their grueling workouts and interviews. They chatted and got to know each other a little bit better. Over the next few years, they'll get used to encounters ...
Derek Forbort and Brock Nelson ran into each other at the NHL Combine in Toronto between their grueling workouts and interviews.
They chatted and got to know each other a little bit better.
Over the next few years, they'll get used to encounters like this.
The standout UND recruits are both in Los Angeles this week, hoping to go near the top of the NHL Draft, which begins at 6 p.m. tonight (Versus).
Experts and scouts predict Forbort, a defenseman from Duluth, will be selected between Nos. 7-17. Nelson, a forward from Warroad, Minn., could go anywhere from No. 19 to early in the second round, which will begin Saturday morning.
"I'm excited, I'm looking forward to it," Nelson said. "Whatever team it is, it should be great."
Both players arrived in L.A. early in the week and will leave soon after the draft. They are both going to enroll at UND this summer in order to get a jump-start on schooling and workouts.
Then, they hope to make an impact on a highly anticipated Sioux season, develop throughout their college careers and eventually end up with the team that selects them this weekend.
"I don't know what to expect and I can't control anything," Forbort said. "So, I'm just going to go out there and have fun."
There has been considerable interest in both players during their senior seasons. The NHL's Central Scouting Bureau tabbed them as possible first-rounders last summer and continued to project them there throughout the winter and spring.
At the NHL Combine last month, Forbort interviewed with 24 of the 30 teams. Nelson interviewed with 21.
"Derek continues to improve every day," said Kurt Kleinedorst, who coached Forbort with the U.S. Under-18 team last year. "He is strong on both sides of the puck, but his offensive instincts are what really jump out."
Nelson, whose uncles Dave and Eddie Christian played for the Sioux, is a 6-foot-3 skilled forward.
"I believe he will continue to rise on the ladder of hockey players," said Albert Hasbargen, who coached Nelson at Warroad High School. "His work ethic, size and tremendous skills put him at the top of high school players as a senior. He can easily add several pounds of muscle. He is very coachable and he does stuff with the puck in practice and games others can only dream about.
"This young man not only has great skills, but is a great person as well."
Gothberg and others
In all, four to seven UND recruits figure to get drafted this weekend.
Zane Gothberg, a goalie from Thief River Falls, and Nick Mattson, a defenseman from Chaska, Minn., are projected mid-round selections.
Gothberg, named the outstanding senior goalie in Minnesota last year, is the No. 6 available North American goalie in the draft according to the Central Scouting Bureau. Gothberg participated in the NHL Combine as one of the projected top 100 prospects.
Mattson is the No. 134-ranked North American skater.
Forwards Mark MacMillan and Mike Parks are ranked just behind Mattson. And Winnipeg forward Brendan O'Donnell, not ranked by Central Scouting, could be picked.
Reach Schlossman at (701) 780-1129; (800) 477-6572, ext. 129; or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .