Minot native ranked among top NHL Draft prospects

Submitted Photo Zach Nehring skating with the puck during a game with Shattuck St. Mary’s.

As the NHL Draft draws closer, prospects are working hard with the goal of seeing their dream come true by hearing their named called from an NHL franchise. Throughout the draft process, it’s common to see lists and rankings for the top draft prospects each year.

Leading into the 2023 NHL Draft, the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau ranked 400 players that are eligible for this year’s draft, broken down by region and position. Among North American skaters, one of Minot’s own has found themselves on the list.

Checking in at No. 70 overall, Minot native Zach Nehring is ranked as one of the top North American prospects heading into the draft. According to Nehring, his best friend broke the news to him but once he realized what was happening, he felt a wave of emotions come on.

“I started tearing up when I saw my name, it was just this sense of realization that I have a chance at being drafted into the NHL and that all my hard work was paying off,” Nehring said.

Getting to this point, however, it took sacrifices by Nehring and his family. At 14-years-old, he left Minot to attend Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, Minn. with the goal of focusing on his hockey career.

“I attribute a large majority of my success to my family. My parents, sister, grandparents, and relatives have all made countless sacrifices to allow me to have this opportunity,” he said.

Shattuck-St. Mary’s is a boarding school where students live on campus, so when Nehring made the decision to go there, it was a big one. The decision, however, has paid off in a tremendous way, as the resources available to Nehring during his time there have impacted his development significantly.

“There’s no better place to play the game you love. The resources to develop as an athlete are second to none. The unlimited amount of ice time, the gym, the trainers, coaches, the competitive culture, everything is just excellent here. I wouldn’t even be close to the person and player I’ve become today without attending Shattuck St. Mary’s.”

With Nehring’s career reaching the point where he has made a collegiate hockey commitment to Western Michigan University and being regarded as one of the top North American draft prospects, he believes he can be a strong addition to any NHL franchise that is willing to take a chance on him.

“They would get a very hard-working and passionate player. I’m very coachable and resilient, and I take pride in my character. I have an excellent hockey IQ and can score goals,” Nehring said when mentioning what he brings to the ice.

He added, “I play a very physical game and use my size as an advantage to develop plays and wear down my opponents. I’m a person who wants to win, and I will adapt to any role needed to do that.”

While there is still time before the 2023 NHL Draft, Nehring has earned the opportunity to be in the position he is through his hard work and dedication to the sport. For anyone looking to reach this point, he believes passion and work ethic are key components to paving a future for yourself.

“My advice is to follow your dreams. It’s a lot of sacrifices, and it’s not easy. There are a lot of days when you might not want to put in the work, but you have to anyway. There are times you’ll have to shoot pucks or go to the gym instead of going to your friend’s house, but that’s where the obsession and love for the game take over.”

Nehring added, “Don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t let anyone say you can’t do it. Most importantly, make sure you’re having fun and that it’s something you’re passionate about.”

For those wanting to keep up with Zach Nehring’s journey to the 2023 NHL Draft, the draft will begin on Wednesday, June 28 and conclude the following day. It will take place in Nashville, Tenn. and will air on ESPN.


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