Kieper And Feist Crack NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings

Regina, Sask. — Regina Pats goaltender Matthew Kieper and defenceman Layton Feist have each cracked NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings for the 2022 NHL Draft, which were announced Thursday.

Kieper, 18, is ranked 25th among North American goalies and eighth among Western Hockey League goaltenders. The Winnipeg, Man. native just completed his rookie season, making 35 appearances, going 16-14-1-0, while posting a 3.68 goals-against average and a .876 save percentage with one shutout. Kieper took home the Hub Bishop Most Sportsmanlike Player Award at the Pats 2021-22 end of the season awards ceremony. The 6-foot-1, 181 lb. goaltender was drafted in the third round by the Pats in the 2019 WHL Prospects Draft out of the Winnipeg Sharks U15 program, where he won both WAAA U15 Goalie of the Year and the WAAA U15 Most Valuable Player.

Feist, 18, is ranked 212th among North American skaters. The Dawson Creek, B.C. native tallied 28 points (6G-22A) over 64 contests in his first full season in the WHL. The 5-foot-10, 168 lb. defenceman scored five goals and four assists for nine points in 21 games as a 16-year-old last season. Feist was drafted by the Pats with the 17th pick of the first round in 2019.

Regina Pats European prospects Joakim Kemell and Alexander Suzdalev were also named to the International skaters final rankings.

Kemell, selected by the Pats in the first round of the 2021 CHL Import Draft, ranks second amongst all International skaters, following a season where he scored 15 goals and tallied 23 points in 39 games with JYP in Liiga, the top Finnish league. The 5-11, 176 lb. forward played for Finland at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship and was an assistant captain at the U-18 tournament, where he scored eight points (6G-2A) in five games, including a hat-trick in the quarter-finals against Canada.

Suzdalev, selected by the Pats in the second round of the 2021 CHL Import Draft, ranks 26th amongst International skaters. The 6-2, 172 lb. winger played in Sweden, where he led HV71’s U20 team in scoring with 51 points (15G-36A) in 45 games.

A total of 53 WHL players have been named to NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings ahead of the 2022 NHL Draft. Overall, 20 of 22 WHL Clubs are represented in the Final Rankings. The Swift Current Broncos boast seven players to lead all WHL Clubs, while the Prince George Cougars are represented by five players. The Kamloops Blazers and Seattle Thunderbirds each have four players on the Final Rankings, while four other WHL Clubs have three players listed.

Six WHL players are listed among the top 15 North American Skaters, led by Winnipeg ICE forwards Matthew Savoie and Conor Geekie, who are ranked fourth and fifth respectively. Kevin Korchinski of the Seattle Thunderbirds is the top-ranked WHL defenceman (seventh). The trio is joined by Moose Jaw Warriors teammates Jagger Firkus (12th), Denton Mateychuk (14th) and Swift Current Broncos defenceman Owen Pickering (15th) in the top 15 North American Skaters.

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