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Central Scouting's Top Rising Prospects

by Jay Levin / Nashville Predators
NHL's Central Scouting department is a collection of the foremost experts in the league's annual Entry Player Draft. Each season Central Scouting releases three sets of rankings --- a preliminary list (usually around the start of the season), a mid-term list (usually shortly after the World Junior Championships), and a final list (usually around the start of the NHL playoffs).

In comparing the final rankings to the mid-term rankings, has compiled three lists of Central Scouting's rising prospects heading into draft weekend.

Largest Jumps, North American Skaters Within the Top-100
Prospect, Pos Improvement Final Ranking
Ryan Sproul, D +70 54, from 124
Keegan Lowe, D +63 88, from 151
Andy Welinski, D +55 48, from 103
Steven Fogarty, C +42 90, from 132
Joel Edmundson, D +36 33, from 69
Keevin Cutting, D +35 87, from 122
Colin Smith, C +34 96, from 130
Zac Larraza, LW +28 70, from 98
Sam Grist, D +28 91, from 119
Jonathan Racine, D +24 67, from 91
Entering the top-100 is key milestone for draft eligible prospects. While Central Scouting does not make any selections in the draft and has no authority of individual team draft boards, as a general rule of thumb, prospects ranked within the top-100 of Central Scouting's North American Skater list are highly likely to be selected at some point in the seven round draft this weekend. Once you add in goaltenders and European skaters, prospects ranked outside of the top-120 to 150 on Central Scouting's North American skater list become more long-shots and/or team preference decisions as to whether they will end up being selected this weekend.

Largest Jumps, North American Skaters Within the Top-50
Prospect, Pos Improvement Final Ranking
Andy Welinski, D +55 48, from 103
Joel Edmundson, D +36 33, from 69
Brett Ritchie, RW +21 36, from 57
Alexander Khohklachev, LW +16 29, from 45
Adam Clendening, D +16 45, from 61
Jamieson Oleksiak, D +14 13, from 27
Scott Oke, LW +14 44, from 58
Stefan Noesen, RW +12 35, from 47
Matt Nieto, LW +12 43, from 55
Ryan Strome, C +11 8, from 19
Central Scouting's top-50 North American skaters generally have a high probability of being selected in the first two-to-three rounds of a draft year.

Best Final Ranking Among Players Unranked in Midterm Rankings
Prospect, Pos Final Rank
Connor Murphy, D #25 North America Skater
Austin Wuthrich, RW #81 North America Skater
Justin Sefton, D #89 North America Skater
Joel Lowry, LW #95 North America Skater
Dylan Wruck, C #99 North America Skater
Harrison Ruopp, D #102 North America Skater
Edward Wittchow, D #111 North America Skater
Tyler Graovac, C #120 North America Skater
Magnus Hellberg, G #2 European Goalies
Nikita Kucherov, W #17 European Skater
Klas Dahlbeck, D #23 European Skater
Alexei Marchenko, D #25 European Skater

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