Four U.S. college players cracked the top 11 in the Central Scouting service’s mid-term rankings of skaters, just released. They are Ryan Whitney of Boston University (4th), Jim Slater of Michigan State (7th), Rob Globke of Notre Dame (8th) and Michigan’s Eric Nystrom (11th).
The rankings — released twice each year — are broken down into North American skaters and goalies, and International skaters and goalies. Whitney is the only defenseman among the aforementioned group, and the sceond-highest backliner in the rankings, behind No. 1 Jay Bouwmeester of Medicine Hat (WHL). Forwards Rick Nash (London, OHL) and Scottie Upshall (Kamloops, WHL) are second and third, respectively, while Kitchener (OHL) defenseman Steve Eminger rounds out the top five.
Cornell freshman David Leneveu is the top-rated college goaltender, placing eighth on the list.
The rankings are broken down into rounds, loosely coinciding with the NHL’s Draft procedure. Among the other college skaters in the first round (top 30) are Yale’s Chris Higgins (17), Minnesota’s Keith Ballard (19) and Minnesota’s Barry Tallackson (27).
Other goalies in the top 30 are St. Lawrence’s Mike McKenna (15), Harvard’s Dov Grumet-Morris (24) and Colorado College’s Curtis McElhinney (27).
The final rankings will be released just prior to the June draft.