Ahead of the 2022 NHL Draft, the USHL will highlight each of its Member Clubs top NHL Draft prospects.
The Fargo Force have had seven players selected in the NHL Draft over the last three events, including three at the 2021 NHL Draft. This season, Cole Knuble enters the Draft as the highest-ranked Force skater according to NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings, which listed him 84th among North American skaters. The East Grand Rapids, Mich. is looking to follow in the footsteps of his father Mike, who was Drafted 76th overall by the Detroit Red Wings in the 1991 NHL Draft and enjoyed a 16-year NHL career, playing more than 1,100 games, and was part of the 1998 Stanley Cup Champion Red Wings roster. In the 2021-22 season, Cole registered 49 points (20-29-49) while appearing in all 62 games for the Force. Based on his performance, Knuble was named to the USHL All-Rookie Second Team. The University of Notre Dame commit made his USHL debut last season with the United States National Team Development Program (NTDP) where he appeared in five games and registered an assist.
"With the season Cole Knuble had as a rookie with the Force, we can understand why we are expecting to hear his name called in Montreal at the 2022 NHL Draft," said Fargo Force General Manager Cary Eades. "Even though he was one of the youngest players in the League last season, only a junior in high school, Cole was one of our offensive leaders all year long. He also earned penalty kill time in the second half of the year and played in all key situations, as his all-around game continued to grow."
The 2021 NHL Draft saw a trio of Force players selected as Scott Morrow (Carolina Hurricanes), Jack Peart (Minnesota Wild) and Tristan Broz (Pittsburgh Penguins) were selected with the 40th, 54th and 58th picks, respectively. The highest-selected Force player of all-time came in the 2016 Draft when Riley Tufte was selected 25th overall by the Dallas Stars.
Former Force defenseman Hudson Thornton was ranked 109th among North American skaters in the Final Rankings.
The USHL has had 50-or-more players Drafted in each of the last four NHL Drafts, dating back to a league-best 57 players at the 2018 Draft. The League has seen 933 of its players selected in total, with at least one player taken in each Draft but one dating back to 1981.
Jackson Borst * (Forward) - 2020-21
Max Bronstine * (Defenseman) - 2019-20
Conner Brown (Defenseman) - 2021-22
Anton Castro (Goaltender) - 2021-22
Owen Gallatin * (Defenseman) - 2020-21
Felikss Egils Gavars (Forward) - 2021-22
Cooper Gay (Forward) - 2021-22
Luke Gramer (Defenseman) - 2021-22
Tyson Gross (Forward) - 2021-22
Louden Hogg (Goaltender) - 2021-22
Bryan Huggins (Defenseman) - 2021-22
Cole Knuble (Forward) - 2021-22
Bret Link (Forward) - 2021-22
Charlie Lurie (Forward) - 2020-22
Matt MacDonald * (Forward) - 2019-20
Dakota MacIntosh (Forward) - 2021-22
Arseni Malyutin (Defenseman) - 2021-22
Matej Marinov (Goaltender) - 2021-22
Joe Palodichuk (Defenseman) - 2021-22
Gustav Portillo (Forward) - 2021-22
Thomas Sinclair (Forward) - 2021-22
Kyle Smolen (Forward) - 2019-22
Max Smolinski (Defenseman) - 2021-22
Grant Slukynsky (Forward) - 2019-21
Matvei Startsev * (Defenseman) - 2019-20
Jakob Stender (Defenseman) - 2020-22
Michael Suda * (Defenseman) - 2020-21
Hudson Thornton * (Defenseman) - 2020-21
J.P. Turner (Forward) - 2021-22
Aiden VanRooyan * (Defenseman) - 2020-21
Thomas Weis (Forward) - 2021-22
German Yavash (Forward) - 2021-22
Tag(s): Player News