Minnesota’s Jordan Schroeder continues to be the top choice of collegiate players eligible for this year’s NHL Entry Draft, that according to the NHL Central Scouting Service’s (CSS) final rankings.
Schroeder, who ranked second on the Gophers in scoring this year with 45 points (13 goals, 32 assists) behind only Ryan Stoa, was ranked fifth among North America-born forwards and defensemen. He fell one spot from the CSS mid-term rankings released in January.
Michael Lee, a goaltender committed to attend St. Cloud State in the fall, was the top-rated goaltender with college ties. Lee played this past season for Fargo in the United States Hockey League. He, too, fell one spot in the final rankings from third in January to fourth.
The top overall North American skater is Canadian John Tavares, while the top-rated European skater is Swedish defenseman Victor Hedman. Both players held the same spot since the January rankings. Many believe that one of these two players will be the number one overall pick in this year’s Draft slated for June 26 and 27 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
The New York Islanders maintained to top overall selection in the Draft on Tuesday in the Scotiabank/NHL Draft Lottery.
“[Tavares is] a pure scorer who’s going to be an asset to teams for years to come,” NHL Central Scouting Director E.J. McGuire told NHL.com. “His numbers statistically speak for themselves. He is going to be, we predict, an All-Star caliber player for many years in the NHL.
“Hedman is a big, strapping kid with an offensive upside,” McGuire said. “Rock-solid a defenseman around which teams build a franchise.”
Among the remainder of the college players ranked among the top 30 North American born skaters defenseman John Moore (8th, incoming-Colorado College), forwards Louis Leblanc (13th, i-Harvard), Chris Kreider (14th, i-Boston College 2010), Kyle Palmieri (20th, i-Notre Dame), Zach Budish (22nd, i-Minnesota), Drew Shore (28th, i-Denver) and Chris Brown (29th, i-Michigan) and blueliners Nick Leddy (24th, i-Minnesota) and Dylan Olsen (27th, i-Minnesota-Duluth).
The NHL Central Scouting Service ranks the top 210 North American-born skaters, top 30 North American-born goaltenders, the top 148 European skaters and the 12 best European goaltenders.