Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Four Notre Dame Hockey Players Listed Among NHL's Top Draft Prospects

Jan. 18, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Four current and future Notre Dame hockey players are listed among the top 160 players on the recently-released National Hockey League’s Central Scouting Service midseason skater rankings-with the Irish total representing the most players listed from any of the 12 teams in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

The rankings list the top prospects (separated into skaters and goaltenders) for the 2000 NHL Draft, which is open to players born between Sept. 16, 1980 and Sept. 15, 1982. Players born after Sept. 15, 1981 must “opt-in” and forfeit their college eligibility, regardless or whether they already have completed a year of college hockey.

Notre Dame’s top-rated player is fall of ’99 signee Neil Komadoski (Feb. 10, 1982 birthdate), who is considered one of the nation’s top prospects among defensemen in his age group. Komadoski (Chesterfield, Mo./U.S. Under-18 National Team) checked in at 51st on the Central Scouting list, ranking as the fourth-highest rated player/signee from teams in the CCHA (two of his current U.S. teammates that also are headed to CCHA schools are rated ahead of him).

Current Notre Dame players on the Central Scouting list include three draft-eligible freshmen: defenseman Evan Nielsen (Evanston, Ill.), center Connor Dunlop (St. Louis, Mo.) and right wing Michael Chin (Urbana, Ill.)

Nielsen checks in at 70th on the list, sixth-highest among all current CCHA players/signees and first among active CCHA defensemen (six spots ahead of Northern Michigan’s Sean Connolly). Dunlop is listed 118th, eighth-highest among all players with CCHA ties and second among active CCHA forwards (Michigan center Andy Hilbert is listed 26th). Chin is the ninth-highest CCHA player/signee on the list, at No. 158.

The nine skaters with CCHA ties that are listed among the top 160 include three from Michigan and one each from Northern Michigan and Ohio State. Miami and Nebraska-Omaha each have goaltenders who are ranked among the top 20 at their position while three other CCHA skaters are listed among the top 225 (two from Michigan State, one from UNO).