Tavares, Hedman headline NHL CSB rankings Staff

11/18/2008 3:51:22 PM

The National Hockey League released its preliminary rankings for the 2009 Entry Draft on Tuesday, with Oshawa Generals forward John Tavares leading the Ontario Hockey League's rankings and Swedish defenceman Victor Hedman ranked No. 1 among European skaters.

Tavares, in his fourth season with the Generals, has scored 174 goals and 191 assists in 214 OHL games. This season, he has 17 goals and 36 points in 23 games.

Following Tavares on the OHL's list is Brampton Battalion centre Matt Duchene, London Knights centre Nazem Kadri, centre Peter Holland of the Guelph Storm and Oshawa defenceman Calvin De Haan.

Hedman, considered top-ranked defenceman in next year's class, has eight points in 21 games with MoDo of the Swedish Elite League this season. Hedman is out three weeks with a separated shoulder, but should return in time for the World Junior Hockey Championship in Ottawa in December.

Spokane Chiefs defenceman Jared Cowen leads all WHL skaters, followed by centres Evander Kane and Braydon Schenn. Cowen has three goals and five assists in 22 games this season.

In the QMJHL, Simon Despres of the Saint John Sea Dogs is the top-ranked skater. The defenceman six-foot-four, 214-pound blueliner has one goal and 14 points in 26 games this season.

Click on to soon for the full list provided by NHL Central Scouting.