On Thursday, May 5, NHL Central Scouting revealed it’s final rankings for the 2022 NHL Draft. NHL Central Scouting is a department that ranks top NHL prospects at different points throughout the hockey season. Prospects are ranked based on their skill sets and how they will translate to the pro level.
There are two players representing the Force on the 2022 final rankings list: Force forward, Cole Knuble and Force 2022 Phase II draft pick (Rd. 1, Pk. 5) Leo Gruba.
Cole Knuble - #84 | Forward
In his rookie season, Knuble had a huge year with the Force, finishing 2nd on the team in scoring, tallying 20 goals and 29 assists for 49 points in 62 games. He represented Fargo at the BioSteel All American game adding a goal for Team Blue in their 4-3 comeback win. Knuble’s hockey IQ, work ethic, and skill with the puck also earned him the 2022 Fargo Force Rookie of the Year Award. Knuble was ranked 118th amongst North American Skaters in the Central Scouting Midterm rankings but has since moved up to 84th on the final list.
Leo Gruba - #125 | Defenseman
Leo Gruba, a 6’1” defenseman from Lake Elmo, MN was taken by the Force with their first pick of the 2022 USHL Phase II Draft (Round 1 – Pick 5). This season he wore the “C” for Hill-Murray High School and helped lead his team to a third-place finish in the Class AA Minnesota State HS Hockey Tournament. He racked up 12 goals and 21 assists for 33 points in 31 games with the Pioneers and earned the title of Metro East Defensemen of the Year. Gruba is 125th amongst North American Skaters in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings.
The Force had two other NHL Draft Picks on the roster during the 2021-22 season, both selected by the Boston Bruins. Forward, Andre Gasseau was selected by the Bruins in Round 7 (#213 overall) of the 2021 NHL Draft. Force Defenseman Mason Langenbrunner was taken by the Bruins in Round 5 (#151 overall) of the 2020 NHL Draft.
Force Alumni have been making waves in the NHL this season as well. Two former Fargo Force Clark Cup Champions signed NHL Contracts in April, Ben Meyers (Colorado Avalanche) and Strauss Mann (San Jose Sharks). Meyers made his NHL Debut on April 16th and scored his first NHL goal that same night. Force alumni Mitchell Chaffee (Minnesota Wild) and Riley Tufte (Dallas Stars) also made their NHL debuts during the 2021-22 season.