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Tkachuk Leads STL Players in Draft Rankings

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

DENVER - Matthew Tkachuk has been named the No. 1 North American skater in NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings of the top prospects for the 2016 NHL Draft.

Tkachuk, the son of former Blue Keith Tkachuk, has 15 goals and 48 assists (63 points) in 33 games with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. Tkachuk also boasts a plus-25 rating this season and helped the United States to a bronze medal at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, tying for the team lead with 11 points in the tournament.

But Tkachuk isn’t the only St. Louis native to make a splash on the midterm rankings. Clayton Keller (8th), Logan Brown (14) - son of former Blue Jeff Brown, Luke Kunin (16) and Trent Frederic (39) also showed up in the Top 40.

In addition, goaltender Joseph Woll (8) and Tommy Nappier (26) are ranked eighth and 26th respectively on the North American Goaltender rankings.

“It’s not surprising for all of us that came up in St. Louis hockey. It’s grown a lot since the mid-90s, and you’ve got eight or nine guys in the NHL,” said Paul Stastny, who played high school hockey at Chaminade. “It’s only going to grow, and it’s good to see. It’s a lot of those alumni NHL guys that live in St. Louis that coach the kids or find ways to get them more ice time. They develop them early and now they’re starting to reap the benefits.”

Other St. Louisans currently in the Blues’ system include defenseman Chris Butler, 2013 draft pick Zach Pochiro and 2015 pick Luke Opilka.

The 2016 NHL Draft will be held June 24 and 25 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo.

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