Graham Kendrick

The National Hockey League’s Central Scouting Bureau released rankings of the top 25 skaters by league for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, and among WHL players, Derrick Pouliot was ranked fourth and Brendan Leipsic was ranked 19th.

Pouliot, drafted first overall by the Winterhawks in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, leads all of the team’s defensemen with 16 points (five goals, 11 assists). Last season Pouliot posted 30 points as a 16-year-old rookie.

Leipsic, drafted by Portland in the sixth round of the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, has 11 points this season (six goals, five assists). Like Pouliot, Leipsic joined the Hawks last season as a 16-year-old rookie, and totaled 33 points.

“Derrick and Brendan are both exceptionally talented players, and we regularly hear from NHL scouts who are excited by their potential,” said Portland Winterhawks General Manager & Head Coach Mike Johnston. “Derrick and Brendan have also benefited from watching our other players go through the draft process over the last two years, and are prepared for the pressure that can come with playing in their draft year.”

The 2012 NHL Entry Draft will be held June 22-23 in Pittsburgh. The Winterhawks have had four first round picks in the last two years: Ryan Johansen and Nino Niederreiter in 2010, and Sven Bartschi and Joe Morrow in 2011. The team has had 12 players taken overall in the last two drafts.

Five-game ticket plans are now available and start at just $60 per person and include five free gifts. Group rates start at 10 people ($16.50 per person) and every ticket includes a free Winterhawks hat. Call 503-236-HAWK or e-mail today to guarantee the best locations.