The NCAA hockey season will not formally conclude until April 9, 2022, when a champion is officially crowned. However, the discussions surrounding unsigned NCAA players have begun to swirl, and one player, in particular, has caught the attention of nearly every single team. Fresh off of his 2022 USA Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey campaign, the Minnesota Gophers captain, Ben Meyers, has front offices and scouting teams doing their homework on the 23-year-old.
Who is Ben Meyers?
Born Nov. 15, 1998, Meyers is a forward and captain for the Minnesota Gophers. He’s from Delano, MN, a town of approximately 5,500 located 45 minutes west of the University of Minnesota. As his team’s leading scorer in his sophomore, junior, and senior years, he went undrafted out of high school.
Meyers spent the following two seasons playing hockey in North Dakota for Fargo Force in the USHL. Appearing in 124 games over three seasons with the Force, he scored 58 goals and 110 points. Now, in his third season with the Gophers, he’s viewed as a hard-working leader and competitive member of the team. Despite playing five fewer games, he is tied for third on the team in goals (11) and first in points (29) over 27 games this season.
“He’s one of the nicest human beings off the ice. Then he puts those skate blades on, and you get the real Ben Meyers. It’s like the Incredible Hulk, almost. Ben’s competitiveness, there are no words for it. And it’s infectious. The boys love it, and he rubs off on everyone. There’s a reason why he’s a leader on this team and it’s that intensity, that competitiveness and his work ethic is second to none.–Jack LaFontaine (from ‘Gophers hockey’s fantastic four — the captain, Ben Meyers,’ Inforum, Sept. 21, 2021)
This year, Meyers represented the United States as part of the Men’s Ice Hockey team during the 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Though the United States did not qualify for a medal, his strong showing during the tournament resulted in two goals and four points in four games. He and his linemates, Sean Farrell and Brian O’Neill became one of the top lines for the United States team.
Why Should the Blues Sign Meyers?
The unsigned prospect has made a name for himself as one of the most well-rounded prospects among this group of NCAA hockey players. His 11 goals and 29 points over 27 games have Meyers currently tied for 43rd overall in total points in the NCAA, but they’re not so overwhelming that it signals “must-sign player here.” Looking back a decade from now, he could become one of the more underrated leaders in the NHL.
When asked about Meyers, a scout said. “In terms of the NCAA, he’s an everyman. Minnesota can just throw him into any matchup and he’ll succeed. Meyers can take over shifts. The right NHL team could make use of him throughout the lineup.” (from ‘Top NCAA Prospect Ben Meyers is Catching NHL’s Attention,’ The Hockey News, Feb. 15, 2022).
The Blues have long been known and respected as a team of heavy-hitting, hard-working, blue-collar grinders. Meyers may never turn out to become a high-flying, team-leading point producer in the NHL. However, his work ethic and skill could certainly land him an opportunity to play a role in the second and third lines, contributing to all aspects of the game. His net-front presence has become a key aspect of his game and a favorite spot to play in the offensive zone. For those reasons, the organization should not hesitate to make a push to sign Meyers if they have the ability to make the dollars and cap space work.
Mike is a writer for The Hockey Writers and covers the St. Louis Blues since November of 2021. He has a keen love for statistical analysis, prospects, signings, and trades. Follow Mike on Twitter for further Blues or Central division hockey discussions, interview requests, or to provide content info.