NHL Central Scouting released its mid-term rankings on Tuesday morning with Nathan MacKinnon coming in at No. 2 behind Seth Jones for the top draft-eligible North American skater for the 2013 draft.
Jones, a six-foot-three, 208-pound defenceman from the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, and MacKinnon have been considered the two contenders for the first overall pick in the draft since the season began.
MacKinnon’s teammate and linemate with the Mooseheads, Jonathan Drouin, has come in at No. 3.
Both [MacKinnon and Jones] impact the game in the position they play, but the one difference is that Seth plays the game well in all three zones,” Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr said on NHL.com. “That’s not to say Nathan doesn’t. Nathan excels in the offensive zone and he’s going to be a prolific scorer. He’s one heck of a competitor.”
If MacKinnon and Drouin get drafted in the top-five, they would be the first duo to do so from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League since Sylvain Turgeon and Pat Lafontaine went second and third respectively in 1983.
“Personally, I feel Nathan benefits from having Jon as a linemate just as much as Jon does having Nathan,” Central Scouting’s Chris Bordeleau said on NHL.com. “Drouin is unbelievable in my eyes. He’s smart and can read the play so well.”
As far as North American goaltenders go, Zach Fucale of the Mooseheads is ranked No. 1. Fucale is 28-4-2 with a 2.50 goals-against average and .896 save percentage this season.
“Zach is an excellent positional style goalie with great stance and balance,” Central Scouting’s Al Jensen said on NHL.com. “He plays and looks big in all situations, has an excellent butterfly style and is very tough to beat down low. Zach is very calm, relaxed and dependable, and has excellent rebound control. He directs the low shots and absorbs the higher shots.”
Other Mooseheads being ranked are defencemen Matt Murphy (110) and MacKenzie Weegar (208).
By: Philip Croucher - Metro Halifax