NHL Central Scouting issued its preliminary ‘Players to Watch’ list for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft

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KELOWNA, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 22: Libor Zabransky #7 of the Kelowna Rockets warms up against the Kamloops Blazers on September 22, 2017 at Prospera Place in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze) *** Local Caption ***

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

PTW Last Name First Name Team League Height Weight Pos
A SMITH TY SPOKANE WHL 5’10.25″ 176 D
B ADDISON CALEN LETHBRIDGE WHL 5’9.75″ 179 D
B ALEXEYEV ALEXANDER RED DEER WHL 6’3.0″ 200 D
B BURZAN LUKA MOOSE JAW WHL 5’11.75″ 185 C
B SUTTER RILEY EVERETT WHL 6’3.0″ 205 RW
B WOO JETT MOOSE JAW WHL 5’11.75″ 205 D
C BARTEAUX DAWSON RED DEER WHL 6’0.5″ 180 D
C DALEY CAIDEN BRANDON WHL 6’0.5″ 172 C
C FARREN MICHAEL SASKATOON WHL 5’9.75″ 167 RW
C FOCHT CARSON TRI-CITY WHL 6’0.0″ 178 C
C GRICIUS JAKE PORTLAND WHL 6’3.0″ 187 C
C HARTJE CHASE MOOSE JAW WHL 5’11.5″ 190 D
C JOHNSON ISAAC TRI-CITY WHL 6’2.0″ 186 LW
C LEPPARD JACKSON PRINCE GEORGE WHL 6’1.25″ 200 LW
C NIELSEN TRISTEN CALGARY WHL 5’8.75″ 180 C
C PATTERSON MAX SWIFT CURRENT WHL 6’5.25″ 209 RW
C PECKFORD RYAN VICTORIA WHL 6’0.5″ 191 LW
C POPOWICH TYLER VANCOUVER WHL 6’4.25″ 197 C
C REINHARDT COLE BRANDON WHL 6’0.5″ 203 LW
C ROMAN MILOS VANCOUVER WHL 5’11.75″ 188 C
C SCOTT TODD VANCOUVER WHL 6’0.5″ 203 G
C STOTTS RILEY SWIFT CURRENT WHL 5’11.5″ 168 C
C WOUTERS CHASE SASKATOON WHL 5’11.5″ 177 C
C ZABRANSKY LIBOR KELOWNA WHL 6’0.75″ 190 D
C ZAMULA YEGOR REGINA WHL 6’2.5″ 160 D
C ZAZULA LUKE KAMLOOPS WHL 5’7.75″ 169 D
C ZUMMACK ELI SPOKANE WHL 5’9.0″ 177 C

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.

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