On Tuesday, NHL Central Scouting released its initial “Players to Watch” list for the 2022 NHL draft. Included on the list is current Spartan captain and Grade 12 prefect Liam Steele as well as 2020-21 captain Ryan Hopkins. Both players were listed as “C” prospects, which represents players with the potential to be selected in the 4th to 6th rounds of the draft. Both players have made verbal commitments to play in the NCAA, with Steele committed to Cornell University and Hopkins to the University of Maine.
The draft will take place at the Bell Centre in Montreal on July 7-8.
Without a doubt this is another exciting day for the Stanstead hockey program and a true representation of the global reach that the program has been able to develop over the last many years.
Ryan Hopkins spent two years at Stanstead (2019-2021). The Lunenburg, Nova Scotia native is a prototypical two-way defender who sees the game with great vision. Ryan is currently playing for the Penticton Vees in the BCHL.
Liam Steele is in his second year here at Stanstead. Liam, who joined us from Cobham, England, is a towering presence on the ice with a true ability to bring people to their feet with his hockey sense and offensive flair.
It is amazing to see Liam and Ryan recognized for their hard work and dedication. Their hockey paths to date are very different but their drive to be successful, their willingness to put in extra work and their overall love for the game are attributes that, although cliché, really have helped them get to this point.
The Central Scouting Watch list is the first official step for eligible draft prospects, so a lot of work remains, but as a program and a school it is fantastic to see our two most recent captains recognized.
It would be a lie to say that the goal of our program is to see players on this list and beyond that live the dream of playing in the NHL, but when you go about things the right way, find the right student-athletes and treat them the way we do here, success like this becomes a by-product of just doing the right thing. It is a thrill each and every day to get to work with such dedicated athletes and each and every member of our current team and alumni group all have helped to allow Liam and Ryan to develop into the players and people they are. This is another wonderful example of the success of our program
Best of luck to both Ryan and Liam! You have a lot of Spartans wishing you well!