The National Hockey League's Central Scouting Department has released its final rankings ahead of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and eight members of the Owen Sound Attack have been tabbed as quality prospects for the Draft, which will be held on June 23 and 24 in Chicago.
Led by Nick Suzuki, who is ranked #10 on the North American Skaters List, Owen Sound also has Jonah Gadjovich, Markus Phillips, Maksim Sushko, Kevin Hancock, Zach Roberts, Sean Durzi, and Trenton Bourque on the list after having seven players named in the Mid Term Rankings.
Suzuki climbed to #10 after being ranked 16th in the previous rankings, thanks in large part to his stellar offensive season that saw him finish 5th in the OHL in point scoring. In 65 games in 2016-17, the London, Ont. native found the back of the net 45 times and added 51 assists for a total of 96 points. Suzuki is the 3rd ranked skater out of the Ontario Hockey League and was the highest scoring draft eligible forward from the OHL this season. Suzuki is currently 10th in OHL Playoff scoring with 11 points thanks to four goals and seven assists in eight games of action.
Also climbing the rankings was Suzuki's linemate, Jonah Gadjovich. Previously listed at 60th overall, Gadjovich will finish at 39th on the Central Scouting list after enjoying a breakout year that saw the power forward finish 3rd overall in goal scoring in the OHL. His 46 combined with 28 assists to give him 74 points on the year.
Continuing the trend of Attack players moving up the list was defenceman Markus Phillips who moved from 62nd overall on the North American list to 50. Phillips, who captained Team Canada's Ivan Hlinka entry in 2016, finished the 2016-17 season with a stellar 13 goals and 30 assists in 66 games of action.
Maksim Sushko moved up one spot on the draft rankings, bumping from 73rd to 72nd after finishing with 18 goals and 14 assists in 54 games played. The Belorussian also saw time with his country's U20 squad this year, helping lead Team Belarus to gold at the 2016 IIHF U20 D1A Tournament, and a berth in next year's World Junior Championship in Buffalo.
Moving up 57 spots in the ranking from 148 to 91 was Kevin Hancock, who was named the most underrated player in the Western Conference in the OHL's Coaches Poll. Hancock exploded offensively this season, like his linemates, tallying 30 goals and adding 55 assists to finish 10th overall in the league's points race.
Joining Hancock as a player that rocketed up the list was Zachary Roberts, who climbed an impressive 67 spots from 180th in the midterm rankings to 113th in the final list. The sophomore forward suited up in 61 games for Owen Sound this past season, recording 10 goals while adding 12 assists for 22 points.
Defenceman Sean Durzi also moved up the board, going from 139 in the midterms to 124th in the latest iteration of the rankings. The 2nd year rearguard scored twice in 2016-17 while chipping in with 36 assists after missing the start of the year due to an ankle injury.
Rounding out the members of the Attack on the list is defenceman Trenton Bourque. Ranked as a player to watch at the beginning of the season, Bourque was not included in the midterm rankings but finishes the year at 154th on the North American Skaters List. In 67 games this year, the Burlington native recorded 11 assists while playing a predominately shutdown role for the Attack.
A full breakdown of all four of NHL Central Scouting's lists can be found HERE.
source: media release, Owen Sound Attack