NHL Central Scouting issued its preliminary ‘Players to Watch’ list for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft today with 27 WHL players making the grade.
Included in those 27 players was Kelowna Rockets import D-man Libor Zabransky, given a ‘C’ rating.
NHL Central Scouting identifies players with a rating system that includes four categories. The ‘A’ rating indicates a first round candidate, a ‘B’ rating indicates a second or third round candidate, and a ‘C’ rating indicates a fourth, fifth, or sixth round candidate. An ‘LV’ rating indicates Limited Viewing of injured players who have not had sufficient viewings to be categorized.
Spokane Chiefs defenceman Ty Smith was the lone WHL skater assigned an ‘A’ rating. Since being made the first overall selection in the 2015 WHL Bantam Draft, Smith has 42 points (7G-35A) in 72 regular season games. This season, Smith leads the Chiefs with eight points (2G-6A) through four games.
Five skaters were given ‘B’ ratings while 21 more were given ‘C’ ratings by NHL Central Scouting. Vancouver Giants rookie goaltender Todd Scott was the lone netminder to appear on the list. Overall, the centres lead this year’s crop of WHL players on the preliminary list, with 10 featured, including Swift Current’s Luke Burzan, who earned a ‘B’ rating.
Nine defencemen graced this year’s preliminary list, including Smith as well as Lethbridge’s Calen Addison, Red Deer’s Alexander Alexeyev and Moose Jaw’s Jett Woo, who each earned ‘B’ ratings. The left wingers edged the right wingers by a margin of four to three respectively.
2018 NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING PRELIMINARY ‘PLAYERS TO WATCH’ – WHL PLAYERS
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Players have been identified using the following criteria:
- A Rating — Indicates a first round candidate
- B Rating — Indicates a second or third round candidate
- C Rating — Indicates a fourth/fifth/sixth round candidate
• LV (Limited Viewing) — Injured players who have not had sufficient viewings to be categorized.