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Jones finishes in top spot in Craig Button's draft ranking

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TSN.ca Staff
6/4/2013 10:13:11 AM
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While Halifax Moosehead forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin grabbed the spotlight with their championship-winning performance at the Memorial Cup, TSN Scout Craig Button believes Seth Jones is still the best blue-chipper going into this month's NHL Draft.

The Portland Winterhawks defenceman finished the 2012-13 season as Button's No. 1 prospect in Craig's List and never gave up the top position since the first ranking was released last October.

Jones, the top-ranked North American skater in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking and ranked second behind MacKinnon in the final list released by International Scouting Services, had 14 goals and 56 points in 61 regular season games with Portland along with five goals and 15 points in 21 playoff games.

The top five remained unchanged from April's ranking, with Drouin ranked second followed by MacKinnon and forwards Aleksander Barkov and Valeri Nichushkin.

Drouin and MacKinnon wowed both fans and scouts at the Memorial Cup last week, with MacKinnon tallying 13 points in four games - including a hat-trick in a 6-4 win in the final. Drouin - a native of Huberdeau, Que., who collected 41 goals and 64 assists in the regular season and won CHL player of the year honours - collected assists on five of those goals in the final game.

There was a bit of movement rounding out the Top 10 with Ottawa 67s forward Sean Monahan up one spot from seventh to sixth and Halifax goalie Zachary Fucale going from ninth to seventh. Sault Ste. Marie blueliner Darnell Nurse is next at eighth, followed by Byrnas centre Elias Lindholm and forward Max Domi of the London Knights.

Rimouski Oceanic defenceman Samuel Morin and Kelowna blueliner Madison Bowey were the biggest risers from April, moving up 19 spots to 13th and 24th respectively.

For Craig Button's final list click here (http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=49649).

To join Craig for a live chat about his ranking, visit TSN.ca's DraftCentre page on Wednesday at Noon et/9am pt.

The 2013 NHL Draft can be seen live on TSN on Sunday, June 30 at 2:30pm et/11:30am pt and you can also follow each pick as they're made on TSN.ca and TSN Mobile.

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