From a physical standpoint, Nick Abruzzese is a late bloomer. And because of that, he didn’t earn much recognition for his work on the hockey rink through the years.
But now that the 19-year-old Chicago Steel center is older, bigger, stronger and even a little taller, the 5-9, 160-pounder is starting to arrest the attention of National Hockey League scouts, earning a spot on NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings for the 2019 NHL draft where he’s ranked No. 200 among North American skaters.
“It’s pretty cool being on the scouting list,” Abruzzese said. “I’ve done a lot of good things this year and got the attention of some people. Physically, I’m starting to develop more and that’s definitely helped me a lot on the ice. If you were to look at me two years ago, you would’ve thought I was 14 years old with the way I was.”
Abruzzese not only looks his age now, but also leads the Steel and is tied for first in the United States Hockey League in scoring with 48 points (16-32—48) in 37 games, as of Jan. 29.