Can winger Michael Mersch, a sophomore-to-be, emerge as the 11th member of the University of Wisconsin men's hockey program to be a first-round NHL draft pick?
The latest issue of Red Line Report, an independent international scouting service, has Mersch rated 50th, which translates to the second round when the annual entry draft is held June 24 and 25 in Minneapolis.
But in the same issue, RLR categorizes Mersch as the most underrated talent in the college ranks, this after the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder produced eight goals, 11 assists and 19 points in 41 games as a freshman for the Badgers.
"Similar in style to (Detroit power forward) Tomas Holmstrom, just not as nasty,'' wrote a scout in RLR. "Strong as an ox with soft hands and a nose for the net. Skating needs a lot of work, but when he's in a race for the puck, he ends up there first. From the waist up, he's a first-rounder. From the waist down is where he's going to need to focus his development to become a good pro.''