NHL ranks seven BCHLers
BCHL Media/Morning Star Staff
The NHL Central Scouting Bureau released its final rankings Monday in advance of the 2012 Entry Draft and seven BCHL players are included.
Among the top-210 North American skaters, forward Jujhar Khaira of the Prince George Spruce Kings had the highest rating at 74th which is up six spots from his mid-term ranking.
Merritt Centennials’ defenceman Reece Willcox rose 24 spots from the mid-term and is currently rated 90th, forward Morgan Zulinick of the Salmon Arm SilverBacks is rated 126th, Penticton Vees’ forward Wade Murphy is 142nd while Coquitlam Express forward Alex Kerfoot is 165th.
The biggest mover of the BCHL bunch was Prince George forward Paul De Jersey. The 2012 Brett Hull Trophy winner and Interior Conference MVP went from 203rd in the mid-term report to 98th in the latest list.
Among the top-35 North American goalies, Powell River Kings’ Sean Maguire is rated 28th.
Former Merritt Centennials’ and Westside Warriors’ netminder Cole Holowenko of the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders is rated 29th.
Former Vernon minor hockey product Brady Brassart, of the Calgary Hitmen, is ranked 181st. Brassart bagged 25 goals and 59 points in his third WHL season.
Everett Silvertips’ d-man Ryan Murray remains the highest-ranked WHL player among North American skaters.
Murray, a product of White City, Sask., moved up to second among North American skaters, behind only Nail Yakupov of the Sarnia Sting. The 18-year-old just completed his third season in the WHL with Mark Ferner’s Silvertips, netting nine goals and 31 points in 46 games.
A steady, reliable two-way blueliner with poise, terrific hockey sense and excellent skating ability, Murray helped Canada win a bronze medal at the 2012 World Junior Championships.
Centre Colton Sissons is the highest-ranked member of the WHL Kelowna Rockets, at 14th overall. The 6-foot, 187-pound North Vancouver product compiled 26 goals and 41 points in 53 games this season.
Vees sign three American recruits
The Vees have signed U.S. talent Zach Stepan, Noah Henry and Evan Anderson for next season.
Stepan, 17, is the cousin of New York Rangers forward Derek Stepan and a top prospect for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh. He is ranked 44th amongst North American Skaters in the mid-term rankings by NHL Central Scouting.
Stepan, a centre, is described as having a good shot with great vision and excels at distributing the puck. His numbers with Shattuck-St. Mary’s Prep School Sabres echo the scouting report. Through 42 games he had 18 goals and 56 points. The Minnesota native is set to join the Ohio State Buckeyes in the fall of 2013.
Anderson, 17, hails from Colorado. He suited up for the Thunderbirds Major Midget under-18 team in the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League. The T-birds won the Rocky Mountain District Championship. Anderson scored 15 goals and collected 31 points in 39 games. His skill level is measured without the puck as he takes pride in his defensive play.
Henry, 17, of Wisconsin, will be a key piece to the Vees’ dee. He brings a well-balanced mix of size and speed as well as offensive punch with 29 points, third best amongst Sabres’ defencemen.
“I’m playing centre this year and that means being a two-way player and being dependable in your end,” said Anderson.