NHL Central Scouting has released their mid-term rankings for the upcoming draft class for each North America and Europe.
There was surprise with who would hold the top rank among North American skaters, as Brandon Wheat Kings’ center Nolan Patrick holds the number one spot and is believed to be the best bet to be selected first overall this June.
Here is a look at the top five skaters in North America and their stats to date.
|Nolan Patrick||Brandon (WHL)||8||6||7||13|
|Nico Hischier||Halifax (QMJHL)||37||31||32||63|
|Gabriel Valardi||Windsor (OHL)||26||17||17||34|
|Owen Tippett||Mississauga (OHL)||41||34||23||57|
|Casey Mittelstadt||Green Bay (USHL)||16||8||13||21|
One thing to note is the forward heavy top of the rankings. The first eight players ranked on the mid-term list are all forwards. Finally, a defenseman shows up with Jusso Valimaki taking the ninth spot. The next three spots after Valimaki are defenders as well.
|Keith Petruzzelli||Muskegon (USHL)||20||2.71||.908||1|
|Ian Scott||Prince Albert (WHL)||35||4.15||.887||1|
|Jake Oettinger||Boston University||18||1.78||.937||4|
Petruzzelli is among four goalies ranked in the top ten that are playing in the USHL right now. Oettinger was the third goalie for the gold medal-winning American squad at the World Juniors. Scott’s numbers aren’t what you want to see out of a prospect, but he is playing on a very bad Prince Albert team right now.
If you go one spot after Oettinger you will see a familiar last name if have been a hockey fan for some time. Cayden Primeau is the son of former NHL Keith. One of his career highlights is ending one of the longest games in NHL history with this shot short side of Pittsburgh Penguins’ goalie Ron Tugnutt.
- Callan Foote, 12th, the defenseman is taking after his dad, Adam, who played in over 1,100 games in his NHL career.
- Matthew Strome, 19th, is the youngest of three brothers, two of which already drafted in the top five in their draft years. Ryan by the New York Islanders and Dylan by the Arizona Coyotes.
- Tyce Thompson, 150th, the brother of St. Louis Blues’ 2016 first round pick Tage who was also on the gold-medal winning American team at the World Juniors.
- Zach Lauzon, 164th, the brother of Boston Bruins’ draft pick Jeremy Lauzon. They are playing together currently with Rouyn-Noranda of the QMJHL.
- Jesse Bjugstad, 169th, the cousin of Florida Panthers’ forward Nick.
- Skyler Brind’Amour, 202nd, son of Rod, a veteran of over 1,400 NHL games and won of the best defensive centers to play the game.
- Ryan Larkin, 20th among goalies, the cousin of Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan.