GENEVA, ILLINOIS – Chicago Steel rookie defensemen Corson Green, Jesper Kokkila and Reilly Walsh have been listed as prospects for the 2017 NHL Draft, as each were included on NHL Central Scouting’s Preliminary Players to Watch List released Tuesday.
The list, which will be updated throughout the 2016-2017 season, encompasses top prospects from the USHL and other leagues across North America and Europe whom are eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft, which will be held June 23-24 at United Center in Chicago.
Green, 17, is the Steel’s largest defenseman at 6-foot-3, 207-pounds. The Potsdam, N.Y. native was originally added to the Steel’s affiliate list in Sept. 2015 and is committed to University of New Hampshire (Hockey East).
Kokkila, 18, previously competed in his home country of Finland for Kärpät, with whom he won a U18 Championship in 2015 and 2016. The 6-foot, 180-pound defender was a 12th round selection of the Steel in Phase II of the 2016 USHL Draft and is currently uncommitted.
Walsh, 17, participated in the 2016 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game in Philadelphia last month. The 6-foot, 182-pound blueliner is one of three Harvard University (ECAC) commits on the Steel roster. The son of AHL Calder Cup Champion Mike Walsh, Reilly was acquired by the Steel in a May 2 trade with the Tri-City Storm.
All three players were given preliminary ‘C’ rankings as 4th/5th/6th round candidates for the upcoming NHL Draft. Three players from Chicago’s 2015-2016 roster were selected in the 2016 NHL Draft: Max Zimmer (Carolina Hurricanes), Brandon Duhaime (Minnesota Wild) and Tanner Laczynski (Philadelphia Flyers). In total, 35 NHL draft picks have competed for the Steel over the years, including current goaltender Ales Stezka, a 2015 4th round selection of the Wild.
Chicago, the only unbeaten (3-0-0-0) team in the USHL, plays one game this weekend — a home contest Saturday, Oct. 8 vs. Bloomington at 7:05 p.m. CDT. It’s Pucks & Pups Night presented by WoofBeach, as fans can bring their dogs to the game! For tickets or more information, stop by the Box Office inside Fox Valley Ice Arena, call 855-51-STEEL or visit ChicagoSteelHockeyTeam.com.