NHL Central Scouting released their preliminary Tier I Jr. A rankings today. The list includes their top 25 skaters and top five goalies from the USHL(which also includes the NTDP). Definitely some interesting choices.
North Dakota recruit Derek Forbort leads the list, which is no surprise. He's definitely the top player in this group. Colorado College recruit Jaden Scwartz is next. Not only is he having a very strong year in Tri-City, but I wonder if his brother's success at Colorado College this year is helping prove their success in Saskatchewan wasn't just because of weak competition. On the topic of smaller guys that score a ton, how is Sahir Gill not listed at all? That's very surprising. His linemate, Russian Andrei Kuchin has had some red flags in the past, but if you're basing this list on draft eligible talent, I think he'd have to be on there as well.
Central Scouting has UMD recruit Justin Faulk at 4th on their list. This is probably the highest I've seen anybody rank him so far(though inevitably, he's probably going to start being ranked high by everybody after this). He's a really athletic kid and has put up some really impressive offensive numbers. He's just a shade under 6' tall, in a draft that is loaded with very tall, very mobile defensemen, but if he keeps playing well, I could see him holding onto that spot.
Michigan recruit Jon Merrill is 7th on the list, and the sixth defenseman listed, which is quite a bit lower than many people have him.
Northern Michigan recruit Ryan Daugherty is 15th on the list in his second year of draft eligibility. Central Scouting seems to love this kid--they had him as an 'A' prospect at the start of last year--but he never ended up getting drafted.
Denver's Jason Zucker is at 18, which strikes me as way, way too low. Now granted, some of this could maybe be explained because Merrill and Zucker both played in the World U18s last year, and some people saw them play there and haven't seen the other US kids as much, which is why they rank Merrill and Zucker so much higher, but Zucker is a better player than where he is listed.
No real surprises among the goalies. The top three will probably get taken somewhere in the draft.