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Local goalies highlight NHL Central Scouting 2021 Watch List

Gaudreau hopes to become first North Bay area player since 2016 to be selected in the NHL Entry Draft
2020 vrbetic gaudreau goalies
Ben Gaudreau (left) and Joe Vrbetic in action last season. Photo by Tom Martineau/BayToday.

Two members of the North Bay Battalion along with local goaltender Ben Gaudreau have been named to NHL Central Scouting's 2021 NHL Entry Draft watch list.  

Gaudreau, who turns 18 in early January, is a former member of the 2018-19 unbeaten Great North Midget League champion North Bay AAA Trappers. 

The 2019 first-round selection of the Sarnia Sting finished with a 4.34 goals-against average and a .890 save percentage in the pandemic shortened season. 

Meantime Vrbetic, a 2018 OHL second-round pick of the Battalion, got better as the season progressed with the Troops getting into 42 games finishing with a 4.23 goals-against average and a .881 save percentage. 

The previous season, Vrbetic led the Powassan Voodoos to the NOJHL semi-finals in his rookie season of junior hockey.  

Both Gaudreau and Vrbetic were rated as "B" prospects which projects the two goaltenders as possible second or third-round draft selections in 2021. 

Meantime, the Battalion's 2020 top import pick, Matvei Petrov, who turns 18 in March, is rated at a "C" prospect. 

See related: Battalion pick Petrov first overall

Petrov is currently skating with Krylia Sovetov of the MHL where he has one goal and three assists totaling four points in nine games so far this season. 

The list is a compilation of top prospects from all the major development leagues throughout North America and Europe. It will be updated throughout the season as scouts evaluate the players.

"At this point in the evaluation process and considering the lack of a summer scouting season, it's much too early to identify a strength for the 2021 draft class other than to state that there are a number of good prospects at every position," director of NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr said in a release. 


Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with BayToday.ca since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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