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NHL Draft Notes

ISS released their April top 30 list. This set of rankings comes right after the recently completed U18 championships, and a lot of movement in the rankings reflect that. On the positive side, Jon Merrill is the second American listed, one spot behind Derek Forbort. Jason Zucker and Swede Johan Larsson, who had a phenomenal tournament, check in at the last two spots thanks to their play in Minsk as well. I can't see Zucker being a first round pick, but it's nice to see him get some recognition.

On the flip side, Canadians Erik Gudbranson and Brett Connolly both paid the price for Canada's terrible performance at the tournament with drops in the rankings. Also, Russian Kirill Kabanov had a pretty complete implosion by leaving his CHL team and getting kicked off the Russian U18 team because of his attitude. He's gone from likely top 5 pick to someone that teams are probably going to avoid completely.

Also, interesting to me was Tyler Pitlick overtaking fellow Minnesotans Brock Nelson and Nick Bjugstad in the rankings. I think most people had it as a given that Bjugstad would be picked well ahead of Pitlick, and Nelson probably would be too. It's an interesting discussion to have, because I think Pitlick is the much safer pick, but the other two may have a little more upside. Although it also should be noted that none of the three has played a game since ISS's March rankings come out, so who knows how much stock you can put in the movement.

Riley Sheahan dropped from 13th last month to 22nd this month, though I don't think this takes into account his recent arrest.

USA NTDP head coach Kurt Kleinendorst talked about his gold medal-winning team with Hockey's Future, and you can draw a couple conclusions from his comments. Defensemen Stephen Johns and Frankie Simonelli didn't play much. That certainly has to hurt Johns' draft stock quite a bit. It sounds like this tournament could have really helped Connor Brickley though.