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Craig Button

TSN Director of Scouting

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Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings and Nico Hischier of the Halifax Mooseheads continue to occupy the top two spots in the March edition of Craig’s List.

Patrick has done nothing but solidify his spot at the top of our rankings for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. After missing much of the first half of the season due to injury, Patrick’s game is rounding into form (20 goals and 26 assists in 33 games). He’s showed he has all the attributes and potential to become a top centre at the next level.

Patrick combines high-end sense and feel for the game with considerable skill and size, leaving no doubt that he belongs on the top of the list.

Hischier (38 goals and 48 assists in 57 games) remains firmly in second. While the Swiss centre has been pushing Patrick for first overall, he hasn’t done enough to surpass him.

Martin Necas, who has played the entire season with Brno in the Czech Extraliga, the highest league in the Czech Republic, moves one spot up from our January rankings to land in third.

Necas (seven goals and eight assists in 41 games) has a style of game that reminds me of Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux. He has a high skill level, can finish or create, and has a desire to find some way to make an impact in every game he plays.

Gabe Vilardi of the Windsor Spitfires (29 goals and 32 assists in 49 games) is at No. 4. The skilled centre is strong on the puck and uses his size and talent to be a very productive offensive player.

Cale Makar of the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Brooks Bandits lands at No. 5 on the list. The dynamic defenceman (24 goals and 51 assists in 54 games) looks like the best blueliner available in the draft. I can’t help but think of Erik Karlsson when I watch Makar on the ice, right down to his size and style of play.

No. 6 Casey Mittelstadt has returned to play for Green Bay in the United States Hockey League after completing his season at Eden Prairie High School in Minnesota. The winner of the prestigious Mr. Hockey Award in the state, Mittelstadt has very good skill and versatility in his game and can play centre or left wing. He has the potential to be a very solid offensive player in the NHL.

Portland Winterhawks forward Cody Glass (32 goals, 62 assists in 69 games) jumps three spots from our January rankings to now sit at No. 7. Swedish defenceman Timothy Liljegren, who was at No. 3 in our January rankings, now sits eighth. He has struggled to find his game after missing much of the first half of the season with mononucleosis. St. Cloud State freshman centre Ryan Poehling (seven goals, six assists in 35 games) is at No. 9.

Rounding out the top 10 is centre Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack. It’s important for young players to continuously improve and take their game to higher levels. That’s exactly what Suzuki (45 goals, 51 assists in 65 games) has done. When I watch him play, I see a lot of similarities to Anaheim’s Rickard Rakell.

 

Craig's List - March Ranking

 
RK Player Team POS HT WT GP G P
1 Nolan Patrick Brandon (WHL) C 6'2 ¾ 198 33 20 46
2 Nico Hischier Halifax (QMJHL) C 6'0 ¾ 176 57 38 86
3 Martin Necas Brno (Czech) C 6'0 ½ 167 41 7 15
4 Gabe Vilardi Windsor (OHL) C 6'3 201 49 29 61
5 Cale Makar Brooks (AJHL) D 5'10 ¼ 171 54 24 75
6 Casey Mittelstadt Eden Prairie (USHS) C 6'0 ¼ 194 30 23 72
7 Cody Glass Portland (WHL) C/RW 6'1 ¾ 180 69 32 94
8 Timothy Liljegren Timra (SWE-Als) D 6'0 191 19 1 5
9 Ryan Poehling St. Cloud St. (NCAA)  C 6'2 ½ 202 35 7 13
10 Nick Suzuki Owen Sound (OHL) RW 5'10 ¾ 187 65 45 96
11 Miro Heiskanen HIFK (SM Liiga) D 6'0 170 37 5 10
12 Elias Pettersson Timra (SWE-Als) LW 6'1 ¼ 156 43 19 41
13 Eeli Tolvanen Sioux City (USHL) RW 5'10 ¼ 170 45 28 47
14 Kailer Yamamoto Spokane (WHL) RW 5'7 ½ 153 65 42 99
15 Lias Andersson HV71 (SHL) LW/RW/C 5'11 ¼ 198 42 9 19
16 Michael Rasmussen Tri-City (WHL) C/LW 6'5 ¾ 215 50 32 55
17 Alexei Lipanov Balashikha (MHL) C 6'0 165 21 3 8
18 Cal Foote Kelowna (WHL) D 6'3 ½ 213 71 6 57
19 P-Olivier Joseph Charlottetown (QMJHL) D 6'2 160 62 6 39
20 Owen Tippett Mississuaga (OHL) RW 6'1½ 202 59 44 75
21 Josh Norris USA NTDP (USHL) C 6'1 ¼ 192 50 22 50
22 Shane Bowers Waterloo (USHL) C 6'1 ¼ 178 53 20 47
23 Jusso Välimäki Tri-City (WHL) D 6'1 ½ 204 60 19 61
24 Aleksei Heponiemi Swift Current (WHL) C 5'9 ¾ 147 72 28 86
25 Conor Timins Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) D 6'1 ¼ 185 67 7 61
26 Matthew Strome Hamilton (OHL) LW 6'3 ½ 206 66 34 62
27 Grant Mismash USA NTDP (USHL) LW/C 6'0 ¼ 186 54 23 49
28 Isaac Ratcliffe Guelph (OHL) LW 6'5 ½ 196 67 28 54
29 Kristian Vesalainen HPK (SM Liiga) LW 6'3 ¼ 207 26 1 6
30 Klim Kostin Moscow (KHL) RW 6'3 196 9 1 1
31 Jaret A-Dolan Spokane (WHL) C 5'10 ¾ 180 72 39 76
32 Morgan Geekie Tri-City (WHL) C 6'2 ¼ 178 72 35 90
33 Michael Dipietro Windsor (OHL) G 6'0 196 51 2.35 .917
34 Kole Lind Kelowna (WHL) RW 6'1 176 70 30 87
35 Henri Jokiharju Portland (WHL) D 5'11 ¾ 176 71 9 48
36 Jason Robertson Kingston (OHL) LW 6'1 ¾ 192 68 42 81
37 Jonah Gadjovich Owen Sound (OHL) LW 6'2 209 60 45 73
38 Joni Ikonen Frolunda (SWE J20) C 5'10 169 40 22 41
39 Marcus Davidsson Djurgårdens (SHL) C 6'0 191 45 5 9
40 U-P Luukkonen HPK (SM Jr Liiga) G 6'0 ¼ 170 25 N/A N/A
41 Morgan Frost Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) C 5'10 ¾ 170 67 20 62
42 Evan Barratt USA NTDP (USHL) C 5'11 ½ 188 52 15 45
43 Markus Phillips Owen Sound (OHL) D 5'11 ¾ 202 66 13 43
44 Mason Shaw Medicine Hat (WHL) C/LW 5'8 ½ 180 71 27 94
45 Erik Brännström HV71 (SWE J20) D 5'10 173 35 1 6
46 Dylan Samberg Hermantown (USHSW) D 6'3 190 31 11 34
47 Antoine Morand A-Bathurst (QMJHL) C 5'10 178 67 28 74
48 Maxime Comtois Victoriaville (QMJHL) LW 6'2 ¼ 199 64 22 51
49 Nick Henry Regina (WHL) RW 5'10 ¾ 191 72 35 81
50 Jake Oettinger Boston U (NCAA) G 6'4 203 33 2.09 .927
51 Cayden Primeau Lincoln (USHL) G 6'2 ¾ 177 29 3.08 .897
52 Noel Hoefenmayer Ottawa (OHL) D 6'0 ¼ 191 62 14 40
53 Maxim Zhukov Green Bay (USHL) G 6'2 ½ 188 29 2.31 .911
54 Robert Thomas London (OHL) C 5'11 ½ 185 66 16 66
55 Nicholas Hague Mississuaga (OHL) D 6'5 ½ 206 64 18 44
56 David Farrance USA NTDP (USHL) D 5'10 ¾ 189 53 5 30
57 Urho Vaakanainen Jyvaskala (SM Liiga) D 6'0 ½ 185 41 2 6
58 Tyler Steenbergen Swift Current (WHL) LW 5'10 188 72 51 90
59 Cale Fleury Kootenay (WHL) D 6'1 ¼ 212 70 11 38
60 Jonas Rondbjerg Växjö (SWE J20) RW 6'0 176 42 9 31
61 Tyler Inamoto USA NTDP (USHL) D 6'1 ½ 194 40 2 11
62 Antoine Crête-Belzile B-Boisbriand (QMJHL) D 6'0 186 38 20 42
63 Alex Formenton London (OHL) LW 6'1 162      
64 Zach Gallant Peterborough (OHL) C 6'2 188      
65 Joel Teasdale B-Boisbriand (QMJHL) C/LW 5'11 ¼ 190      
66 Keith Petruzzelli Muskegon (USHL) G 6'5 ¼ 180      
67 Nikita A. Popugaev Prince George (WHL) LW 6'5 ½ 204      
68 Adam Ruzicka Sarnia (OHL) C 6'3 ½ 202      
69 Ivan Kosorenkov Victoriaville (QMJHL) RW 6'1 189      
70 Jake Leschyshyn Regina (WHL) C/LW 5'10 ¾ 184      
71 Scott Reedy USA NTDP (USHL) C/RW 6'1 ½ 204      
72 Artyom Minulin Swift Current (WHL) D 6'2 ¼ 202      
73 Nate Schnarr Guelph (OHL) C 6'2 ¾ 180      
74 Ian Scott Prince Albert (WHL) G 6'3 ¼ 174      
75 Ostap Safin Sparta (CZE-Jr.) RW 6'4 ½ 191      
76 Eemeli Rasanen Kingston (OHL) D 6'6 ¼ 216      
77 Jesper Boqvist Timra (SWE-Als) C 6'0 179      
78 Stelio Mattheos Brandon (WHL) C 6'0 ¾ 190      
79 Stuart Skinner Lethbridge (WHL) G 6'3 ½ 209      
80 Kevin Hancock Owen Sound (OHL) C/LW 5'10 ¾ 180      
81 Lukas Elvenes Rogle (SWE J20) RW 6'0 ½ 173      
82 Ivan Lodnia Erie (OHL) LW/C 5'10 182      
83 Ian Mitchell Spruce Grove (AJHL) D 5'11  171      
84 Tim Söderlund Skellefteå (SHL) RW/LW 5'9 163      
85 Skyler McKenzie Portland (WHL) C 5'7 ½ 154      
86 Reilly Walsh Chicago (USHL) D 5'10 ¾ 181      
87 Filip Chytil Zlin (CZE-Jr.) LW 6'0 ½ 178      
88 Clayton Phillips Fargo (USHL) D 5'10 ½ 170      
89 Dylan Coghlan Tri-City (WHL) D 6'2 189      
90 Cameron Crotty Brockville (CJHL) D 6'3 182      
91 Nikita Anokhovsky Yaroslavl (MHL) C 6'0 187      
92 Paul Washe Fargo (USHL) C 6'1 191      
93 Ivan Chekhovich Baie Comeau (QMJHL) LW 5'10 177      
94 Rickard Hugg Leksand (SWE J20) C 5'10 ½ 179      
95 Mackenzie Entwistle Hamilton (OHL) C/RW 6'2 ¾ 180      
96 Michael Anderson Waterloo (USHL) D 5'11 ½ 196      
97 Jacob Paquette Kingston (OHL) D 6'2 ¾ 207      
98 Jocktan Chainey Halifax (QMJHL) D 6'0 198      
99 Ben Mirageas Chicago (USHL) D 6'1 ¾ 180      
100 Robin Salo Vassan (SM Liiga) D 6'0 ¾ 187      
101 Walter Flower Halifax (QMJHL) D 6'1 178      
102 Austen Keating Ottawa (OHL) LW 5'11 ½ 170      
103 Max Gildon USA NTDP (USHL) D 6'3 191      
104 Finn Evans St. Michaels (OJHL) RW 6'2 177      
105 Luke Martin Michigan (NCAA) D 6'3 ¾ 216