48 WHL players named to NHL Central Scouting’s updated ‘Players to Watch’ list
Calgary, Alta. – NHL Central Scouting has issued an updated ‘Players to Watch’ list for the 2019 NHL Draft, with 48 Western Hockey League players making the grade.
NHL Central Scouting identifies players with a rating system that includes four categories. The ‘A’ rating indicates a first round candidate, a ‘B’ rating indicates a second or third round candidate, and a ‘C’ rating indicates a fourth, fifth, or sixth round candidate. A ‘LV’ rating indicates Limited Viewing of injured players who have not had sufficient viewings to be categorized.
Six WHL players retained their “A” ratings, including forward Kirby Dach (Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. / Saskatoon Blades), who is tied for fourth in WHL scoring with 35 points (12G-23A) through 22 games. Also making the top grade were forwards Dylan Cozens (Whitehorse, Yukon / Lethbridge Hurricanes), Nolan Foote (Engelwood, Colo. / Kelowna Rockets), and Peyton Krebs (Okotoks, Alta. / Kootenay ICE). Making the top grade as defencemen were Bowen Byram (Cranbrook, B.C. / Vancouver Giants) and Matthew Robertson (Sherwood Park, Alta. / Edmonton Oil Kings).
Seven WHL skaters earned “B” ratings, including defenceman Lassi Thomson (Tempere, Finland / Kelowna Rockets), who sits 10th in scoring among WHL defencemen with 16 points (7G-9A) in 21 games. Three WHL goaltenders also earned “B” ratings, including Taylor Gauthier (Calgary, Alta. / Prince George Cougars), Trent Miner (Brandon, Man. / Vancouver Giants), and Mads Sogaard (Aalborg, Denmark / Medicine Hat Tigers).
In total, 20 of 22 WHL member Clubs are represented, led by the Edmonton Oil Kings, who have six players featured on the most recent list. The Kelowna Rockets are next with five while the Medicine Hat Tigers have four players represented. The Lethbridge Hurricanes, Red Deer Rebels, and Tri-City Americans each have three players on the list while 10 teams had a pair of players on the list. Four teams are represented by a single player.
The breakdown favoured WHL forwards with 27 of them named to the list, with 14 defencemen, and seven goaltenders also appearing.
2019 NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING PRELIMINARY ‘PLAYERS TO WATCH’ – WHL PLAYERS
|PTW||Last Name||First Name||Team||League||Height||Weight||Pos|
|C||VAN DE LEEST||JACKSON||CALGARY||WHL||6’6.25″||222||D|
|PTW||Last Name||First Name||Team||League||Height||Weight||Position|
Players have been identified using the following criteria:
- A Rating — Indicates a first round candidate
- B Rating — Indicates a second or third round candidate
- C Rating — Indicates a fourth/fifth/sixth round candidate
• LV (Limited Viewing) — Injured players who have not had sufficient viewings to be categorized.
About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 350 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.