One of the highly anticipated pre-NHL draft rituals is TSN analyst Bob McKenzie putting out his final rankings. McKenzie's list is different from NHL Central Scouting, which acts as a presumptive 31st team, and other scouting rankings with various trends and opinions. His are solely based on scouting input throughout the National Hockey League and as such normally ends up being the closest to how the Draft shakes out itself.
Four days away from the 2014 NHL Draft begins in Philadelphia, TSN released the top 60 final rankings Monday night. College hockey is represented on it with eleven players that have collegiate ties on the list. (A twelfth, incoming Minnesota freshman defenseman Ryan Collins is an honorable mention).
Five of those would be drafted in the first round. led by incoming Michigan freshman Dylan Larkin at 12. Larkin, a forward from Waterford, Michigan who spent last season playing for the US National Development Program, moves up eight spots from the mid-term rankings. He looks to be the first Big Ten player in its long, two year hockey history to ever to be drafted in the first round.
Following Larkin is a pair of Boston College forwards going back to back in Alex Tuch (17) and Sonny Milano (18). Eagles goaltender Thatcher Demko, who helped lead BC to a Frozen Four appearance at Wells Fargo Center this season, is the highest goalie on the list at 27 and could make it a first round trio .
One spot above Demko is incoming North Dakota center Nick Schmaltz. Down a spot from the TSN mid-term rankings, Nick nonetheless is around the same draft spot as his brother and UND teammate Jordan - picked 25th by St. Louis in 2012.
Wisconsin's Jack Dougherty is the highest defenseman with college ties on the list at 35 while fellow blue liner Jack Glover is at 46. Other players with college ties on McKenzie's list are UNH's Warren Foegele, BU's Johnathan MacLeod and fast rising Providence commit Jake Walman.
HM: Ryan Collins (Minnesota)
Click on a player link above for his SBN College Hockey Draft Profile. More will be added.
Other US-born CHL players on McKenzie's list include Anthony DeAngelo (31), Ryan MacInnis (34), goalie Alex Nedeljkovic (42) and Keegan Iverson (59)
The 2014 NHL Draft begins Friday with round 1 and continues Saturday with rounds 2-7. NBCSN (Friday) and NHL Network (Saturday) will show it on TV in the United States. Canadian viewers can watch both days on TSN.