Brandon Wheat Kings

Toronto, Ont — Everett Silvertips defenseman Ryan Murray tops the Western Hockey League list as NHL’s Central Scouting bureau on Thursday released its preliminary rankings of North American players eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr and his staff ranked the top 25 skaters and top goaltenders for the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Western Hockey League and United States Hockey League, which has included the United States Under-18 National Team Developmental Program the past three seasons. The international rankings for eight countries were also released, as was a “watch” list for those prospects starring in college.

Three members of the Brandon Wheat Kings – forwards Tyrel Seaman and Alessio Bertaggia as well as goalkeeper Corbin Boes – were also among the players listed in Thursday’s report.

Seaman and Bertaggia are currently ranked 17th and 25th respectively among WHL prospects. Boes meanwhile is 5th among Western League netminders.

An 18-year old Saskatoon product, Boes is currently fourth in the WHL with a sparkling 2.13 goals against average. As well, he’s compiled a .930 save percentage, one shutout and an 8-2-0-1 record in fifteen appearances.

Brandon’s first selection in last summer’s Canadian Hockey League Import Draft, Bertaggia is currently among the league leaders in rookie scoring with seven goals and 17 points in 22 games.

A former fourth round selection of the Wheat Kings in the 2009 WHL Bantam Draft, Seaman has five goals and 12 points in 22 games this winter.

Murray, a product of White City, SK, ranks first among the WHL’s top 25 skaters in Central Scouting’s preliminary list. The 18-year-old is already in his third season in the WHL with the Silvertips, and has put up three goals and six points in 10 games this season.

The Silvertips’ first-round pick, ninth overall, in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft, Murray scored six goals and 46 points in 70 games last season while being named to the WHL Western Conference Second All-Star team. He also narrowly missed out on earning a spot on Canada’s national junior team last year.

18-year-old Russian netminder Andrey Makarov is the top-ranked WHL goaltender in Central Scouting’s preliminary rankings. Makarov has enjoyed a terrific start to the season with the Saskatoon Blades.

Calgary’s Chris Driedger is ranked No. 2 on the list of the WHL’s draft-eligible netminders.

For the NHL Central Scouting service’s complete North American preliminary rankings,


Boes, Seaman, Bertaggia and the Wheat Kings will return to action Friday night when the Medicine Hat Tigers pay their second visit to Brandon in less than two weeks.

Tickets to Friday’s game, presented by Manitoba Public Insurance, are on sale now at the Keystone Centre box office, by calling 726-3555 or online at ticketmaster.ca