Jan 13, 2014, 10:48 AM EDT
The NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau has unveiled its midterm rankings for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and, to some surprise, has named OHL Kingston forward Sam Bennett as the top North American skater eligible for selection.
“Bennett has not only been very noticeable but extremely effective every shift of every game so far this season,” Central Scouting’s OHL specialist Chris Edwards told NHL.com. “His puckhandling and playmaking are excellent and he has one of the best shots in this year’s draft class.”
From the European side of things, Kasperi Kapanen — son of longtime NHLer Sami Kapanen — was named the No. 1 prospect. Kasperi has spent the last two years playing alongside Sami for Kalpa of the Finnish Elite League and has eight points through 30 games this season.
Bennett, 17, got the North American nod over other highly-touted and more recognizable names, including WHL Kootenay forward Sam Reinhart and OHL Barrie defenseman Aaron Ekblad, both of whom represented Team Canada at the ’14 World Juniors (Bennett didn’t make the team.)
Bennett, a left-handed shot, ranks fourth in the OHL with 66 points (26 goals, 40 assists) in 40 games.
(Image courtesy the Ontario Hockey League).
- WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Rangers, Eastern Conference Final Game 7 6
- The Ducks got Kesler for a game like Saturday’s 30
- Your Lightning-Rangers Game 7 officials are… 1
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win 53
- DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose 12
- Sabres name Bylsma head coach 46
- Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’ 18
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue 56
- Stanley Cup Final to begin June 3 10
- Caps’ Backstrom undergoes arthroscopic hip surgery 6
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (77)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue (56)
- On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’ (54)
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win (53)