The National Hockey League’s Central Scouting Department has released its 2021-22 Preliminary Players to Watch List and three Abbotsford products have made the grade.
The list grades 2022 draft eligible prospects as A (first round candidate), B (second round candidate), C (fourth, fifth or sixth round candidate) or LV (limited viewing – injured players who have not had sufficient viewings to be categorized).
Abbotsford’s Brayden Schuurman, Grayden Siepmann and Graham Sward all made the list and were ranked as C prospects.
Schuurman recently made local headlines after winning the Western Hockey League’s player of the week earlier this month. The 5-9, 191 pound centre has collected six goals and two assists in seven games with the WHL’s Victoria Royals so far this season.
Schuurman was a fourth round (69th overall) selection of the Royals in the 2019 WHL Draft. He racked up impressive offensive numbers with YHA, scoring 49 points in 53 games with the U15 team and 40 points in 34 games with the U18 team in 2019-20.
In 30 total games spread out over three season he has scored 19 points. Victoria has a record of 1-6 in WHL regular season action.
He racked up impressive offensive numbers with YHA, scoring 49 points in 53 games with the U15 team and 40 points in 34 games with the U18 team in 2019-20.
— Victoria Royals (@victoriaroyals) October 9, 2021
Siepmann, a 5-10, 175 pound defenceman has collected two points in four games with the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen this season. Calgary has a record of 2-3 so far this season.
He scored his first career WHL in a 4-1 Calgary win over the Swift Current Broncos on Oct. 10.
— The WHL (@TheWHL) October 11, 2021
He was chosen in the first round, 13th overall by Calgary in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft. He also played 21 games for the Hitmen in the COVID-19 shortened 2020-21 season, collecting two points in 21 games.
In the summer of 2020 he was invited to Hockey Canada’s virtual national under-17 development camp, which is the first stage in introducing athletes to what it takes to be a part of Team Canada.
Siepmann was a big point producer for YHA, scoring 33 points in 59 games as a U15 and 22 points in 35 games as a U18. Both Siepmann and Schuurman were 2019 Canadian Secondary School Hockey League champions with YHA as U15s.
Sward went undrafted earlier this summer and remains eligible for 2022. The 6-2, 180 pound defender was ranked 117th in the NHL Central Scouting’s prospect rankings final list for 2021 but did not end up getting chosen.
He has manned the blue line for the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs since 2019-20 and this season he is off to a hot start with six points in five games. Spokane has a record of 2-3-1 so far this season. He collected 17 points in 55 games in 2019-20 and one point in 11 games in 2020-21, both with the Chiefs. He was Spokane’s first round (17th overall) pick back in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft.
— Spokane Chiefs (@spokanechiefs) October 5, 2021
Sward previously played for the Fraser Valley Thunderbirds in 2018-19, when he scored 26 points in 32 games and was named an all-star. He also spent two seasons with YHA U15, scoring 27 points in 56 games.
In the summer of 2020 he was recognized as an invitee to Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 team selection camp. That camp did not occur due to the pandemic.
The 2022 NHL Draft is set to occur on July 7 and 8 in Montreal.