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NHL Central Scouting USHL Rankings

NHL Central Scouting released today a preliminary top 25 ranking list for the each of the Tier I Jr. A leagues in North America, including the USHL.

Here's what the USHL list looks like:

1 Tyler Biggs USA U-18 RW 6-foot-2 210
2 Jonathan Miller USA U-18 C 6-foot-1 1/4 198
3 Seth Ambroz Omaha RW 6-foot-2 211
4 Scott Mayfield Youngstown D 6-foot-3 1/2 197
5 Rocco Grimaldi USA U-18 RW 5-foot-6 163
6 Michael Paliotta USA U-18 D 6-foot-3 198
7 Adam Reid USA U-18 C 6-foot-3 1/2 205
8 Sean Kuraly Indiana C 6-foot-1 1/2 192
9 Colten St. Clair Fargo C 5-foot-10 1/2 190
10 Robbie Russo USA U-18 D 5-foot-11 1/2 189
11 Blake Pietila USA U-18 LW 5-foot-11 189
12 Logan Nelson Des Moines C 6-foot-1 1/4 174
13 Reid Boucher USA U-18 C 5-foot-9 1/2 192
14 Austin Czarnik Green Bay C 5-foot-8 140
15 Dan Carlson USA U-18 LW 6-foot-1 201
16 Joakim Ryan Dubuque D 5-foot-10 1/2 182
17 Andy Welinski Green Bay D 6-foot-1/4 188
18 Garrett Haar Fargo D 5-foot-11 1/4 190
19 Samuel Windle Chicago D 6-foot-3 1/2 200
20 Zach Saar Chicago RW 6-foot-3 1/2 190
21 Jaycob Megna Muskegon D 6-foot-4 202
22 Chris Bradley Youngstown D 6-foot-1 190
23 Sam Warning Cedar Rapids LW 5-foot-8 1/2 179
24 Brendan Woods Muskegon LW 6-foot-2 1/2 190
25 Cason Hohmann Cedar Rapids C 6-foot-2 192
LV Zac Larraza USA U-18 C 6-foot-2 192
LV Connor Murphy USA U-18 D 6-foot-2 3/4 185
LV Andrew Ryan USA U-18 D 6-foot-1 200
LV Austin Wuthrich USA U-18 RW 6-foot-1 190
1 John Gibson USA U-18 6-foot-2 3/4 205
2 Jay Williams Waterloo 6-foot-3/4 170
3 Matt McNeely USA U-18 6-foot-2 205
4 Jackson Teichroeb Dubuque 6-foot-1 193
5 Adam Wilcox Green Bay 6-foot 171
6 Matt O'Connor Youngstown 6-foot-5 1/4 186
7 Jake Hildebrand Sioux City 5-foot-11 170
8 John Keeney Omaha 6-foot-1/2 187

There's definitely a couple surprises on the list. Seth Ambroz and Scott Mayfield have long been considered the the top two of the group, so it's a surprise to see Tyler Biggs and JT Miller ahead of them. I'd personally still put Rocco Grimaldi ahead of all of them, 5-6 or not. I had seen some people putting Robbie Russo near the first round of the draft, but 10th seems a more realistic spot. Of course, this list provides no context as to where this group fits in with everybody else, but my feeling is that this isn't a particularly strong group this year.

As for the CHL leagues, the OHL list was a bit of a surprise with Ryan Murphy and Matt Puempel being 9th and 10th, when it seemed like a lot of people had them in at least their top five. A couple Americans on the list: Brandon Saad(2nd), Vince Trochek(4th), Stefan Noesen(13th), Shane Prince(18th), and goalie Matt Mahalak(2nd). Also, former Michigan recruit Lucas Lessio only checked in at a fairly 17th on the list.

In Quebec, Once-a-North-Dakota-recruit-but-then-signed-with-the-QMJHL-so-he-no-longer-has-any-college-eligibility-and-thus-no-affiliation-with-North-Dakota-player Garrett Clarke didn't even get ranked.

In the WHL, Americans Colin Jacobs(10th) and Shane McColgan(15th) were ranked, but far lower than expected. Former Bemidji recruit Zach Franko isn't mentioned.

Over the past couple of years, the college hockey world has been told it would be the death of their sport to lose future first round draft picks like Lessio, Jacobs, McColgan, and Clarke to the CHL. But today, there's a lot more yawns than tears, as all of them look like they would have been better off getting and education and then starting a pro career when they were ready, rather than having to choose between taking a shot at pro hockey OR getting an education like they will have to do in the CHL.