Three members of the 2020/21 Waterloo Black Hawks were on the final list of North American prospects for the 2021 National Hockey League Draft revealed by NHL Central Scouting on Thursday.
Defenseman David Gucciardi led the group at #69. Forwards Matt Argentina (#173) and Carter Batchelder (#199) followed among the 224 players on the NHLCS North American list. Separate rankings were compiled for international skaters as well as goaltenders. The 2021 NHL Draft will be July 23rd and 24th with an estimated 224 selections anticipated during the event.
Gucciardi joined the Black Hawks just before Christmas. He was among the United States Hockey League’s highest scoring defensemen before missing more than a month due to a late-season injury. The Toronto native still ended the year with seven goals and 10 assists in 29 appearances for Waterloo. That included a stretch where Gucciardi produced 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 11 games from New Year’s Eve through January 29th. The Michigan State recruit was Waterloo’s leading scorer during January.
Argentina enjoyed his strongest run of the season from February 26th through March 13th. Over that span, he had a seven-game point streak, which included five goals. Argentina ended the year with seven goals and 12 assists, building on his 11 points (five goals, six assists) as a USHL rookie in 2019/20. He played in 45 games in each of those two years. The 18-year-old was tendered by the Black Hawks during the spring of 2019 and is originally from Philadelphia. He is committed to Boston College.
Batchelder came to Waterloo during the closing days of the 2020/21 season. Before joining the Hawks, he had helped lead the Eden Prairie Eagles to the Minnesota AA High School State Championship. In just three USHL appearances this season, Batchelder notched a pair of assists. Waterloo won each of the three games when he was in the lineup. Batchelder is committed to Colorado College.
During the 2020 NHL Draft, two Black Hawks were selected: Ryder Rolston by the Colorado Avalanche in the fifth round and Wyatt Schingoethe by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the seventh round. Meanwhile at the NHL level, former Hawk Jackson Cates made his professional debut with the Philadelphia Flyers this season. He was one of 13 Waterloo alumni to skate on the 31-team circuit during the regular season.