2 Pats Ranked in NHL CSB’s Preliminary Rankings

The Regina Pats have two players ranked in the top 15 skaters in the preliminary WHL rankings from the NHL Central Scouting Bureau.

Chandler Stephenson is the 7th ranked player in the WHL, the second ranked forward behind Colton Scissons of the Kelowna Rockets. Czech import, Dominik Volek it the 15th ranked player in the Western Hockey League.

Everett Silvertips defenseman Ryan Murray tops the WHL list as NHL’s Central Scouting bureau on Thursday released its preliminary rankings of North American players eligible for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

NHL Central Scouting director Dan Marr and his staff ranked the top 25 skaters and top goaltenders for the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, Western Hockey League and United States Hockey League, which has included the United States Under-18 National Team Developmental Program the past three seasons. The international rankings for eight countries were also released, as was a “watch” list for those prospects starring in college.

Ryan Murray, a product of White City, SK, ranks first among the WHL’s top 25 skaters in Central Scouting’s preliminary list.  The 18-year-old is already in his third season in the WHL with the Silvertips, and has put up three goals and six points in 10 games this season.

The Silvertips’ first-round pick, ninth overall, in the 2008 WHL Bantam Draft, Murray scored six goals and 46 points in 70 games last season while being named to the WHL Western Conference Second All-Star team.  He also narrowly missed out on earning a spot on Canada’s national junior team last year.

Murray is the first of five defensemen who make up the Top 5 WHL skaters in the preliminary rankings.  Moose Jaw Warriors’ smooth-skating rearguard Morgan Rielly comes in at No. 2 and thrilling Red Deer Rebels defensmena Mathew Dumba comes in at No. 3 on the list.  Portland’s Derrick Pouliot and Edmonton’s Griffin Reinhart round out the Top 5 in the rankings.

Colton Sissons of the Kelowna Rockets is the highest ranked forward, coming in at No. 6 on the list.  Sissons, a product of North Vancouver, B.C., currently leads the Rockets with 10 goals this season after putting up 17 goals and 41 points in 63 games as a rookie last year.

Impressive Swift Current Broncos rookie Coda Gordon, Prince Albert Raiders sophomore Mike Winther and Everett Silvertips rearguard Nick Walters roundout the Top 10.

18-year-old Russian netminder Andrey Makarov is the top-ranked WHL goaltender in Central Scouting’s preliminary rankings.  Makarov has enjoyed a terrific start to the season with the Saskatoon Blades.

Calgary’s Chris Driedger and Red Deer’s Patrik Bartosak are ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, on the list of the WHL’s draft-eligible netminders.

For the NHL Central Scouting service’s complete North American preliminary rankings, CLICK HERE

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