Brady Skjei. Credit Tom Sorensen
NHL Central Scouting Services recently released its midterm rankings for the 2012 NHL entry draft, which will be held in Pittsburgh. Lakeville native and future Gophers defenseman Brady Skjei was slotted at No. 18 for North American skaters, pegging him as a potential first-round pick in June.
"I'm glad that Central Scouting thinks highly of me, but I know that there is a lot more hockey to be played before the draft," Skjei said. "I have to stay focused and keep playing good hockey."
He admitted he hopes to go in the first round, but that's not his primary concern.
"I try to avoid it as much as I can and just focus on where I'm at right now and try to get better every day," he said. "But that is one of my goals."
The smooth-skating defenseman is playing with former Lakeville South forward and Bulldogs commit Kyle Osterberg for the U.S. National Team Development Program's U-18 Team. Ex-Apple Valley forward A.J. Michaelson is No. 83. Eagan seniors Will Merchant and Eli May are 155 and 159.