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NHL Draft

Seven 2018 NHL Draft prospects upgraded to A ratings

Noel, Wilde, Alexeyev among those rated higher in November players to watch list

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Right wing Serron Noel of Oshawa in the Ontario Hockey League is one of seven players who have been upgraded to A-rated players on NHL Central Scouting's Players to Watch list for November.

The revised list serves as an update to the preliminary players to watch that was released Oct. 3 and which was based on last season's reports. Players with an A rating are considered potential first-round candidates for the 2018 NHL Draft, which will be held at American Airlines Center in Dallas on June 22-23.

"At this point, our scouts have had a chance to view all the players in their respective areas and we have updated the players to watch based on our current grading," said Dan Marr, the director of NHL Central Scouting.

Noel (6-foot-5, 200 pounds), who earned a B rating on the preliminary list, has 14 points (10 goals, four assists) and 18 penalty minutes in 16 games. He had 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) and 52 penalty minutes in 63 games as a rookie in the OHL last season.

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"Noel is a power forward who is a strong skater with deceptive outside speed to separate himself from checking and quickness by pulling away on the rush," Marr said. "He works hard on the forecheck, forcing turnovers and finishing hits."

Said Karl Stewart of NHL Central Scouting: "[Noel] reminds me of [Winnipeg Jets forward] Blake Wheeler with his size, feet and hands in tight."

Here are six other players who have been upgraded to A ratings on the November players to watch list:


Alexander Alexeyev, D, Red Deer (WHL): Alexeyev (6-3, 200), born in St. Petersburg, Russia, has 11 points (one goal, 10 assists) and 24 shots on goal in 12 games. He had five shots on goal in two games with Russia against the Western Hockey League during the 2017 Canada Russia Series.

"He missed a lot of time last year due to a knee injury, so we were erring on the side of caution when starting him as a B-rated player," said John Williams of NHL Central Scouting. "In my last viewing, he must have played 35 minutes in a game that Red Deer won in overtime. He's a real solid player in all aspects of the game. He has the size and is a skater who can carry the puck and gain the zone. He makes good passes, has a good stick defensively."


Noah Dobson, D, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL): Dobson (6-3, 180), a right-handed defenseman, has 18 points (one goal, 17 assists) in 22 games. He had 26 points (seven goals, 19 assists) in 63 games as a rookie in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season, and has surprised scouts with his ability to contribute on offense this season. Troy Dumville of NHL Central Scouting said Dobson reminds him of Montreal Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry.

"Dobson has developed an all-around game this year where he's capable of making a difference on the plays," Marr said. "Playing almost 30 minutes [per game], he moves the puck well and quarterbacks the power play. He has always been sound defensively but now is showing good instincts on offensive side of game as well."


Sampo Ranta, RW, Sioux City (USHL): Ranta (6-1, 192), a native of Naantali, Finland, has eight points (five goals, three assists) in 11 games. He's considered a good skater with a big shot. Ranta, who is committed to the University of Wisconsin next season, had nine points (six goals, three assists) in 30 games as a rookie for Sioux City last season.


Rasmus Sandin, D, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL): The left-handed shot (5-11, 183) from Uppsala, Sweden, has six points (one goal, five assists), 12 shots on goal and a plus-8 rating in seven games. Selected by Sault Ste. Marie in the first round (No. 52) of the 2017 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft, he arrived in the Ontario Hockey League on Oct. 18 after he had one assist in five games with Rogle in the Swedish Hockey League. He's impressed with his competitiveness, passing and hockey sense.


Bode Wilde, D, USA U-18 (USHL): The right-hand shot (6-2, 195) has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) and a plus-12 rating in 17 games for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program under-18 team. He's committed to the University of Michigan in 2018-19, while Saginaw of the OHL has his Canadian Hockey League rights.

"[Wilde's] compete level has been really high and he's defending hard and plays physical," said NTDP U-18 coach Seth Appert. "He's activating in the rush as we want him too. The more he learns that give-and-go style, the more dangerous he'll become."


Jett Woo, D, Moose Jaw (WHL):The right-handed shot (6-0, 205) has 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 18 games. He hasn't played since Sunday because of an upper-body injury and is considered week to week.

"He's a point-a-game player now, runs the first power-play unit and plays with a lot more poise and patience with the puck," Williams said. "He's not likely a power play guy in the NHL, but more of a two-way guy who can bring a physical element with enough skill to contribute."

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