Neutral Zone Adds Three Scouts, Two Former D-I Players, to Minnesota Region

Over the last several weeks, Neutral Zone has added several new scouts to an already deep roster of talented evaluators. Heath Gordon was announced as our new U.S. Director of Women’s Scouting and Brent Cullaton was hired as a scout for the Minnesota region.

Today, we announce several new additions to the scouting staff.

Stephon Williams has been hired as a Minnesota Regional Scout and goalie scout.

“Stephon is a big hire for NZ,” said Neutral Zone director Brendan Collins. “As a former NCAA D1 goaltender at Mankato he brings a lot of experience and expertise to our goalie scouting department and he’ll also help us develop our Minnesota Scouting coverage at all level from bantam to high school to junior. We are really excited to have him on board.”

Williams, 27, played professionally through last season and spent three seasons as a standout goaltender for Minnesota State, posting a 1.65 GAA and .925 save percentage in his final season with the program in 2015. After his time there, he played professionally for the past five seasons, appearing in 64 AHL games, 49 ECHL games and 84 games overseas.

“I am very excited to be a part of the Neutral Zone team in the Minnesota region,” Williams said. “I look forward to being apart of the platform that provides players at all levels the chance to be noticed, and help teams discover more players across the country.


Ben Marshall has also been added to the team as a Minnesota Regional Scout. 

Marshall, 28, is a former Golden Gopher captain as a defenseman who like Williams, had played professionally through this past season. In four seasons with the Gophers he appeared in 159 games, scoring 17 goals and adding 44 assists from the blue line. He then embarked on a pro career that took him to the AHL, ECHL, Slovakia, and most recently, the KHL.

“I am very excited to be joining the Neutral Zone team and to have an opportunity to scout with such an established group,” Marshall said.

“Ben fits the Neutral Zone scouting model for Minnesota perfectly,” added Collins. “He played Minnesota High School, he played four years at the University of Minnesota and was a captain and has played the past five years at the professional level. He knows the youth hockey landscape in the state, is a diligent scout and knows what it takes for these prospects to make it to the next level.”

Tyler Carlston has also been hired as a scout in the Minnesota region. A native of Apple Valley, Minn., Carlston played as Apple Valley High School and Minnesota State (ACHA) before embarking on a lengthy coaching career. For the past seven seasons, Carlston has coached with the Florida Jr. Blades in a variety of roles, assisting on the USPHL Empire, USP3HL and USPHL Premier and Elite teams. Last season, Carlston was head coach of the organization’s USPHL Premier team. 

“Tyler is a young scout out of Florida area,” Collins said. “He’s grinded at the Tier III junior level and shown an ability to evaluate talent and find hidden gem prospects. We are going to have him support our Minnesota staff with all levels but his primary focus will be on Bantams for the WHL Draft.”

“I’m really looking forward to working with Neutral Zone,” Carlston said. “There are so many quality young players in our game and I am excited to help identify and promote them.”