Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Central Scouting Rankings Include Numerous UMD Recruits, Local Faces

The NHL is locked out, but the process of scouting players for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft is underway.

(Of course, if the NHL season is cancelled, we don't know when that draft will happen. Or who will pick first.)

(Then again, if they use the same lottery system they rigged so Pittsburgh could win used in 2005, Toronto will be practically a shoo-in to win. Which means someone else will. Maybe Pittsburgh.)

Anyway, NHL Central Scouting has released a preliminary list of top prospects for the 2013 draft. The players are grouped by league, and then assigned a letter grade, A, B, or C.

"A" prospects are considered potential first-round picks, while "B" players are said to be second- or third-round picks. "C" level players are believed to be candidates for selection in later rounds.

As usual, UMD and local high school teams are represented on the list. Here is a rundown.

Freshman forward Austin Farley is the only current UMD player listed. The former Fargo Force (USHL) star is a "C" skater, along with four other WCHA freshmen (two of them are from Denver).

As far as recruits go, defenseman Blake Heinrich (Hill-Murray) is a "B" skater, and fellow blue-liner Willie Raskob (Shattuck-St. Mary's) is a "C" skater, as is Hibbing forward Adam Johnson.

Waterloo defenseman Ian McCoshen is listed at the "A" level. McCoshen is uncommitted, but has listed UMD among those still in the running.

Hermantown defensemen Neal Pionk and Jake Zeleznikar are both listed as "C" level skaters.

The rankings will be updated next in November, with a final listing due out before the draft.

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