The International Scouting Service (ISS) has released their latest draft rankings, and the center position dominates. Behind Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier—who are still ranked #1-2 respectively—Gabe Vilardi slides into the #3 slot and twelve other centers appear in the top-31 names. While many of the names down the list don’t project as elite first line players, there is a lot of talent to be had to build a team from the middle. Casey Mittelstadt has jumped to number five, and Timothy Liljegren continues to drop down the list.
A name we’ve said to watch before, Owen Tippett, has moved all the way up into the #4 position and is having a strong playoff run with Mississauga. The Steelheads are through to the next round and will face the Oshawa Generals on Friday. Tippett is the best pure goal scorer in the draft, and will have an interesting case for jumping right to the NHL next season.
- Brad Marchand will have a hearing with the Department of Player Safety on Thursday, regarding the spearing incident last night. Marchand used his stick to violently spear Jake Dotchin in the groin and was assessed a five minute major and game misconduct. With the Boston Bruins clinching a playoff spot last night, any suspension that took Marchand out for more than two games would leak into the postseason and possibly be devastating for the club. The Hart Trophy candidate has been suspended three times in the past and fined on multiple occasions. His standing as a repeat offender may mean at least one playoff game will be included.
- The Nashville Predators have assigned Samuel Girard to the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL. The 18-year old defenseman was eliminated from the playoffs when Shawinigan lost to Val-d’Or on Sunday. A second-round pick last summer, Girard had 75 points in 59 games and added another nine in five playoff contests. His offensive potential is incredible, and the Predators defense factory has turned undersized players into excellent all-around defenders before.
- After playing in two games with the Red Wings, Evgeny Svechnikov has been sent back to the AHL. The young winger was held pointless, but scored the shootout winner against the Ottawa Senators on Monday night. He’ll now head down to the Grand Rapids Griffins and try to win a Calder Cup.