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NHL Central Scouting upgrades four prospects

by Mike G. Morreale

Throughout the course of the season, NHL Central Scouting occasionally will reveal an update of players who have taken another step in their development.

On Oct. 28 four players moved from a B rating, or potential second- or third-round pick at the 2015 NHL Draft, to an A-rating, or potential first-round candidate.

Here's a look at each prospect:

Nikita Korostelev, Sarnia (OHL): The 6-foot-1, 195-pound right wing is tied for 12th in scoring in the Ontario Hockey League with 17 points (eight goals, nine assists). He has points in eight straight a games; during that span he has seven goals and 14 points.

"He has an outstanding wrist shot and is a high-energy guy," Central Scouting's Chris Edwards said. "He sure competes hard and gets involved, makes that top line go with Pavel Zacha and Jordan Kyrou. It's a heck of a line and they were good; Nikita has a good skill set."

In his second OHL season, the 17-year-old native of Moscow leads the Sting in goals and points. Taken by Sarnia with the ninth pick of the 2013 OHL draft, he had 17 goals and 38 points in 60 games as a rookie last season.

Jens Looke, Brynas (SWE): The versatile 6-foot, 180-pound right-shot right wing is capable of playing both wings or center. He has made a vast improvement this fall with Brynas; in 16 games he has two goals and six points.

"He's a good skater with acceleration," NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb said. "He's a highly skilled playmaker who sees the ice very well, uses his good hands and passing ability to move the puck through traffic. He's alert and dangerous around the net, offers a quick shot and plays a very competitive two-way game. He's very mature for his age (18)."

Jake DeBrusk, Swift Current (WHL): A seventh-round pick (No. 137) by Swift Current in the 2011 Western Hockey League bantam draft, the 5-11, 171-pound left wing has nine goals and 20 points in 17 games. He leads Swift Current in goals and is tied for the lead in points. He is the son of former NHL forward Louie DeBrusk.

Artyom Volkov, MVD Balashikha 2 (RUS-JR): The 17-year-old left-shot defenseman from Tver, Russia, offers good size (6-1, 183) and mobility. He was a recent addition to the A list and will be a player to keep an eye on within the European ranks.


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