The NHL Central Scouting Bureau released it's final rankings today and there was quite a bit of movement near the top compared to the mid term rankings, but that's to be expected as some guys have started to separate themselves from the pack.
The biggest change among North American skaters came at the top where Red Deer Rebel slight forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins took over the #1 spot replacing Swedish winger and Kitchener Rangers captain Gabriel Landeskog who drops to #2. Drummondville centre Sean Couturier was in the second hole, but the tallest forward among the top 50 at 6.04 is now ranked 6th.
Saint John forward Jonathan Huberdeau who really impressed scouts at the top prospects game and the second half is now 3rd, and hulking Defenceman Dougie Hamilton from Niagra is 4th. Another blueliner, Nathan Bealieu, Huberdeau's Sea Dog teammate rounds out the top 5. You can view the whole list here.
When the mid term rankings came out, U.S. National Development power forward Tyler Biggs was slotted in at 5, but today he dropped to 22. Another big strapping forward, Brandon Saad who used to play in the same program as Biggs but jumped to Saginaw of the OHL this season fell from 8th to 19th. Portland forward Ty Rattie drops from 11 to 17.
Several guys are on the way up, Ryan Strome goes from 19 to 8 and a lot of scouts I've spoken to think he could crack the top 5 when all is said and done. By all accounts his finish and creativity are similar to RNH but his skating doesn't measure up to the Rebel centre. Duncan Siemens will be the first WHL blueliner taken and right now he's ranked 10th, up from 14th and the mid term rankings, but another defenceman made an even bigger jump as Northeastern's Jamie Oleksiak who measures up at 6.07-244 and went from 27th to 13th.
We'll be going over the list in detail tomorrow night and CSS Western Scout Rick Jackson will join us to break down some of the WHL skaters.