The NHL’s Central Scouting has released their initial rankings for the 2017 draft today, and 29 players have received ’A’ grades, the first-round stamp of approval. Among them is expected top pick Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings, who is already getting unfair comparisons to hall of fame players like Jonathan Toews.
Whether Patrick develops into an elite two-way center or not, he does look like a blue-chip prospect at this point, after scoring 102 points in 72 matches last season. He’s off to a nice start this year, having scored three points in his first two games.
- According to multiple reports including Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports, Radko Gudas will not receive any supplementary dicipline for his hit on Jimmy Vesey last night. The Flyers’ defenseman was ruled to not have time to change his path once Vesey turned his back to him. Vesey was not seriously injured on the play, though he easily could have been as his head hit the glass. This comes after the league issued a one-game suspension to Niklas Hjalmarsson for his hit on Ty Rattie. The league is also considering additional punishment for Tanner Pearson after an illegal check to the head.
- No stranger to league discipline himself, Jordin Tootoo is trying to make the Blackhawks’ roster this fall and as Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun Times writes, it’ll take more than just his leadership. Tootoo understands that the game has changed in the past decade, and his place as an enforcer on the fourth line is no longer safe. He’ll have to prove he can play an effective style of hockey with his stick and skates before lending his fists to the team. Tootoo has shown he can contribute in the past, scoring double digit goals twice in his career, most recently in 2014-15.