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NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings

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Which players could go high in this year’s draft or end up with the Flyers?

United States v Sweden: Semifinals - 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

The NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings were released on Monday with many of the expected names at the top of their rankings. These rankings will most likely look different by the end of the season, but for right now let’s take a look at some of the high-end talent available in this year’s draft, as well as who the Flyers might be taking.

Top North American Skaters

Midterm Rank Player Position Team (League)
Midterm Rank Player Position Team (League)
1 Andrei Svechnikov RW Barrie Colts (OHL)
2 Filip Zadina RW Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
3 Brady Tkachuk LW Boston University (NCAA)
4 Quinn Hughes LHD University of Michigan (NCAA)
5 Evan Bouchard RHD London Knights (OHL)
6 Barrett Hayton C SSM Greyhounds (OHL)
7 Oliver Wahlstrom RW USA U-18 (NTDP)
8 Noah Dobson RHD Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)
9 Serron Noel RW Oshawa Generals (OHL)
10 Akil Thomas C Niagara IceDogs (OHL)
11 Joel Farabee LW USA U-18 (NTDP)
12 Jared McIsaac LHD Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
13 Joe Veleno C Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
14 Ty Smith LHD Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
15 Rasmus Sandin LHD SSM Greyhounds (OHL)
16 Ryan McLeod C Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
17 Mattias Samuelsson LHD USA U-18 (NTDP)
18 Benoit-Olivier Groulx C Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
19 Patrick Giles RW USA U-18 (NTDP)
20 Jett Woo RHD Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
21 Ryan Merkley RHD Guelph Storm (OHL)
22 Bode Wilde RHD USA U-18 (NTDP)
23 Sampo Ranta RW Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)
24 Blade Jenkins LW Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
25 Blake McLaughlin LW Chicago Steel (USHL)
26 Alexander Alexeyev LHD Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
27 Jachym Kondelik C Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)
28 Kody Clark RW Ottawa 67's (OHL)
29 Jack McBain C Toronto Jr. Canadiens (OJHL)
30 Kevin Bahl LHD Ottawa 67's (OHL)
31 K'Andre Miller LHD USA U-18 (NTDP)
32 Stanislav Demin LHD Wenatchee Wild (BCHL)
33 Allan McShane C Oshawa Generals (OHL)
34 Calen Addison RHD Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL)
35 Gabriel Fortier LW Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)
36 Nicolas Beaudin LHD Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
37 Xavier Bernard LHD Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
38 Giovanni Vallati LHD Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
39 Sean Durzi RHD Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
40 Milos Roman C Vancouver Giants (WHL)
41 Xavier Bouchard RHD Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL)
42 Declan Chisholm LHD Peterborough Petes (OHL)
43 Alec Regula RHD London Knights (OHL)
44 Jay O'Brien C Thayer Academy (USHS)
45 Jonathon Tychonick LHD Penticton Vees (BCHL)
46 Jordan Harris LHD Kimball Union Academy (USHS)
47 Nico Gross LHD Oshawa Generals (OHL)
48 Jonathan Gruden C USA U-18 (NTDP)
49 Tyler Madden C Tri-City Storm (USHL)
50 Curtis Hall C Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)
51 Ryan O'Reilly RW Madison Capitols (USHL)
52 Filip Kral LHD Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
53 Radim Salda LHD Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL)
54 Dmitri Zavgorodny LW Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL)
55 Michael Kesselring RHD New Hampton School (USHS)
56 Jack Gorniak LW West Salem High (USHS)
57 Ty Emberson RHD USA U-18 (NTDP)
58 Semyon Der-Arguchintsev C Peterborough Petes (OHL)
59 Cameron Hillis C Guelph Storm (OHL)
60 Jack Drury C Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
61 Carter Robertson LHD Ottawa 67's (OHL)
62 Jacob Bernard-Docker RHD Okotoks Oilers (AJHL)

Although the clear number one in this year’s entry draft is atop the European skaters’ rankings, the battle for who will go second is at the top of the North American skaters’ rankings.

Despite missing nearly two months of games due to a hand injury, Andrei Svechnikov is ranked number one. Evgeny’s younger brother has 19 goals, 13 assists, and 92 shots on goal in 24 games this season as a right winger with the Barrie Colts in the Ontario Hockey League. At 6’2” and 186 pounds, the dynamic forward can produce shots and goals in a variety of ways. Whether it’s going to the dirty areas, using his speed and skating capabilities, or with his shot, he will find ways to produce.

So far this season, Svechnikov has six multi-goal games (two hat tricks), ten multi-point games, and eight games with five shots on goal or more (including a nine-shot performance on October 7th against the Saginaw Spirit). He also had five assists in five games for Russia at the World Junior Championship earlier this month.

Second is Filip Zadina, a 6’0” 196-pound right wing for the Halifax Mooseheads in the QMJHL. After being a part of Pardubice’s system over in the Czech Republic for several seasons, Zadina is seventh in QMJHL scoring with 27 goals and 26 helpers in 38 games in his first season in North America. With 162 shots so far this season, Zadina is also averaging 4.26 shots per game. He’s an elusive skater that can create space for himself and others. Along with his dynamic playmaking abilities, Zadina is considered to have great hockey sense and is sound defensively. He had seven goals and an assist in seven games for the Czech Republic at the WJC a few weeks ago.

It’s also worth mentioning that both Bill Placzek of Draft Site and Steve Kournianos of The Draft Analyst have the Orange and Black picking Quinn Hughes, a small and speedy left-handed blue liner who is currently a freshman at the University of Michigan, with their first first-round pick. Hughes, who has one goal and 13 assists with 55 shots on goal in 21 games this season, is regarded as ‘arguably the best skater in the draft class with incredible lateral agility’ and is an ‘ideal blue liner for the way the game is played now.’ I think Flyers’ fans would be alright with that pick in the first round.

Top European Skaters

Midterm Rank Player Position Team (League)
Midterm Rank Player Position Team (League)
1 Rasmus Dahlin LHD Frolunda (SHL)
2 Adam Boqvist RHD Brynas Jr. (SuperElit)
3 Isac Lundestrom C/LW Lulea (SHL)
4 Grigori Denisenko LW Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)
5 Jacob Olofsson C/LW Timra (Allsvenskan)
6 Rasmus Kupari C/LW Karpat (Liiga)
7 Adam Ginning LHD Linkoping (SHL)
8 Dominik Bokk LW Vaxjo (SuperElit)
9 Jesperi Kotkaniemi C Assat (Liiga)
10 Vitali Kravtsov RW Chelyabinsk (KHL)
11 Martin Kaut RW Pardubice (Czech)
12 Filip Hallander Center Timra (Allsvenskan)
13 Jan Jenik RW Benatky NJ (Czech2)
14 Krystof Hrabik C Liberec (Czech)
15 Martin Fehervary LHD Oskarshamn (Allsvenskan)
16 Mikhail Bitsadze C Dynamo Moscow (KHL)
17 Filip Johansson RHD Leksands (Allsvenskan)
18 Jakub Lauko C Chomutov (Czech)
19 Niklas Nordgren RW HIFK U20 (Jr. A SM-liiga)
20 Dmitri Semykin RHD/F Stupino (MHL)
21 Albin Eriksson RW Skelleftea (SuperElit)
22 Axel Andersson RHD Djurgardens (SuperElit)
23 David Gustafsson C HV71 (SHL)
24 Jonatan Berggren RW Skelleftea (SuperElit)
25 Danila Galenyuk LHD SKA St. Petersburg (MHL)
26 Oscar Back C/RW Farjestad (SuperElit)
27 Ivan Morozov LW Khanty-Mansiysk (MHL)
28 Jesse Ylonen RW Espoo (Mestis)
29 Demid Mansurov RW Chelyabinsk (MHL)
30 Pavel Shen C Khanty-Mansiysk (KHL)
31 Lukas Wernblom C MODO (Allsvenskan)
32 Jacob Ragnarsson LHD Almtuna (Allsvenskan)
33 Lenni Killinen RW Blues U20 (Jr. A SM-liiga)
34 Michal Kvasnica RW Frydek-Mistek (Czech2)
35 David Lilja C Karlskoga (Allsvenskan)
36 Carl Jakobsson RW Farjestad (SuperElit)
37 Kirill Marchenko RW Khanty-Mansiysk (MHL)
38 Nikolai Kovalenko RW Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)
39 Danila Zhuravlyov LHD Irbis Kazan (MHL)
40 Samuel Fagemo RW Frolunda (SuperElit)
41 Nils Lundkvist RHD Lulea (SuperElit)
42 Ondrej Buchtela RHD Kadan (Czech2)
43 Daniel Kurovsky RW Vitkovice (Czech)
44 Marcus Westfalt C Brynas (SHL)
45 Jan Kalus RW Frydek-Mistek (Czech2)
46 Karel Plasek RW Brno (Czech U20)
47 Roman Pucek LW Vsetin (Czech U18)
48 Toni Utunen LHD LeKi (Mestis)
49 Daniel Kowalczyk LHD Brno (Czech U20)
50 Arttu Nevasaari RW Karpat U-20 (Jr. A SM-liiga)
51 Fredrik Granberg LHD Skelleftea (SuperElit)
52 Kristian Tanus C Tappara U-20 (Jr. A SM-liiga)
53 Bogdan Zhilyakov LHD Dynamo St. Petersburg (MHL)
54 Santeri Salmela LHD KooKoo (Liiga)
55 Jacob Svensson C Almtuna (Allsvenskan)
56 Oliver Okuliar LW Trencin U-20 (Slovakia U20)
57 Einar Emanuelsson RW Lulea (SHL)
58 Alexander Bjurstrom LW Brynas (SHL)
59 Martin Bucko RHD Pardubice U-20 (Czech U20)
60 Linus Nassen C Frolunda (SuperElit)
61 Yevgeni Kalabushkin LHD/F SKA St. Petersburg (MHL)
62 Kristian Kovacik C Trencin U-20 (Slovakia U20)

It’s been his draft for a long time and the rankings yesterday don’t seem to disagree, as Rasmus Dahlin is listed as the top European skater available in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. He’s a gifted blue liner that is already showing signs of having elite-level skating and defensive abilities while receiving top pairing minutes as a 17-year-old with the Frolunda Indians in the SHL. He’s also capable of pulling of plays like this:

Dahlin has five goals and seven assists in 30 games this season.

The aforementioned Placzek and Kournianos may have agreed on who the Flyers will take with their first first-round pick, but the two disagreed on the second first-round pick. Placzek has Philly taking Finnish center Rasmus Kupari, while Kournianos has them taking Russian winger Grigori Denisenko. Kupari is a playmaker who uses his speed, great hands, and patience to create chances. The two-way forward has four goals and two helpers in 24 games with Karpat in Finland’s Liiga. Denisenko is able to successfully play in a high-pace game and uses his magnificent puck skills to create opportunities for his teammates. Kournianos also says Denisenko plays the game in the mold of William Nylander. The right-handed forward has four goals and 10 assists in 23 games for Loko Yaroslavl in Russia’s MHL.

Top North American Goalies

Midterm Rank Player Team (League)
Midterm Rank Player Team (League)
1 Alexis Gravel Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
2 Olivier Rodrigue Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
3 Jacob Ingham Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
4 Kevin Mandolese Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL)
5 Jacob Kucharski Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL)
6 Joel Hofer Swift Current Broncos (WHL)
7 Keegan Karki Muskegon Lumberjacks (USHL)
8 David Tendeck Vancouver Giants (WHL)
9 Jared Moe Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL)
10 Samuel Harvey Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL)
11 Matt Thiessen Steinbach Pistons (MJHL)
12 Ivan Prosvetov Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)
13 Jordan Kooy London Knights (OHL)
14 David Hrenak St. Cloud State University (NCAA)
15 Jonathan Mor USA U-18 (NTDP)
16 Zachary Emond Rouyn-Noranda Huskies (QMJHL)
17 Nick Donofrio Hamilton Bulldogs (OHL)
18 Mitchell Gibson Lone Star Brahamas (NAHL)
19 Tyriq Outen South Shore Kings (USPHL-NCDC)
20 Lucas Fitzpatrick Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL)
21 Daniel Moody Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
22 Duncan McGovern Kootenay Ice (WHL)
23 Adam Scheel Penticton Vees (BCHL)
24 Ryan Ullan Bismarck Bobcats (NAHL)
25 Tristan Cote-Cazenave Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL)
26 Benjamin Kraws Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)
27 Juraj Ovecka Sprinfield Jr. Blues (NAHL)
28 Drew DeRidder USA U-18 (NTDP)
29 Zach Stejskal Central Illinois Flying Aces (USHL)
30 Jett Alexander North York Rangers (OJHL)
31 Dayton Rasmussen University of Denver (NCAA)

The QMJHL has three of the top four ranked North American goalies on yesterday’s rankings. Alexis Gravel of the Halifax Mooseheads is number one with 11 wins in 24 games this season, as well as .896 save percentage and 3.28 goals against average. Olivier Rodrigue is second with 22 wins in 37 games, a .901 save percentage, and a 2.62 GAA with the Drummondville Voltigeurs this season. Kevin Mandolese is fourth among the 31-ranked North American goalies, as he has eight wins in 23 games with an .889 save percentage and a 3.61 GAA.

Top European Goalies

Midterm Rank Player Team (League)
Midterm Rank Player Team (League)
1 Jakub Skarek Jihlava
2 Amir Miftakhov Irbis Kazan (MHL)
3 Lukas Dostal Brno U-20 (Czech U20)
4 Olof Lindbom Djurgardens (SuperElit)
5 Justus Annunen Karpat (Jr. A SM-liiga)
6 Samuel Ersson Brynas (SuperElit)
7 Akira Schmid Langnau (Elite Jr. A)
8 Alexei Melnichuk Neva St. Petersburg (VHL)
9 Daniil Isayev Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)
10 Daniel Dvorak Hradec Kralove U-20 (Czech U20)
11 Jesper Myrenberg Linkoping (SuperElit)
12 Jere Huhtamaa Blues U20 (Jr. A SM-liiga)
13 Jesper Eliasson Troja-Ljungby U-18 (J18 Elit)
14 Dominik Pavlat Chomutov (Czech U-20)
15 Conrad Molder KRS Junior (MHL)

Considering how competitive the Flyers’ goaltending depth is across the organization, there’s a decent chance Ron Hextall may be picking one of these goalies in June due to fact he’d have the rights to these goaltenders for a longer time than North American goalies (this may be why he selected Kirill Ustimenko in last year’s draft). With a .900 save percentage and 2.60 goals against average in 18 games with HC Dukla Jihlava in the Czech Republic’s Tipsport Extraliga, perhaps Jakub Skarek could be the high-end European goaltending prospect the Flyers use a mid-round pick on later this year.