NHL Central Scouting has released their final set of rankings for this summer’s NHL Draft.
As it always, it is important to remember the purpose of these rankings, which is to provide NHL teams one final opportunity to compare their list against another before taking one final look at players in the upcoming World U18 championships and junior hockey playoffs.
All four lists—North American skaters, North American goalies, European skaters, and European goalies—can be found here.
This year’s draft continues to look like a very down year, both in terms of high-end quality and in overall depth.
Nolan Patrick maintained his hold on the number one ranking among North American skaters despite missing over half of his season due to injury. Even when healthy, Patrick projects as more of an Eric Staal-type player(which is very good, to be sure) than a Connor McDavid/Auston Matthews-type of player.
Minnesota commit Casey Mittelstadt is the top-ranked American player coming in at third on the list. Mittelstadt ended the USHL regular season with nine points in Green Bay’s final eight games to finish as the USHL leader in points-per-game(albeit with a relatively low 1.25 p/gm) after returning from a good, not great high school season at Eden Prairie. While it may be easy to find nits to pick in Mittelstadt’s game—even-strength scoring, defensive play—he has shown elite offensive ability, and in a draft that appears to have very few players with the potential to be an elite scorer at the NHL level, that should be enough to push him very high in this draft.
Other players with NCAA ties to be placed in the top 30 American skaters include: 8. Eeli Tolvanan(BC), 9. Cale Makar(UMass), 13. Ryan Poehling(SCSU), 16. Shane Bowers(BU), 24. Grant Mismash(North Dakota)
It’s also a strong year for American goalies, with Boston University’s Jake Oettinger being listed as the top North American goalie. Keith Petruzelli(Quinnipiac commit) was ranked second. Denver commit Dayton Rasmussen and Northeastern commit Cayden Primeau also made the top ten in a very deep year for goalies.