Giants, Rivermen on the NHL radar

Vancouver leads all WHL teams with five players on NHL Central Scouting list

With the NHL draft just over five months away, eight local hockey players are on the radar.

NHL Central Scouting released its midseason rankings on Monday with five members of the Vancouver Giants and two members of the Langley Rivermen on the list. Another Langley player who is part of the Kamloops Blazers is also among the listed athletes.

The five Giants players listed are the most among any of the 22 Western Hockey League teams.

Giants forwards Milos Roman (ranked 40th among North American skaters) and James Malm (176th), as well as defencemen Alex Kannok Leipert (190th) and Dylan Plouffe (208th) and goaltender David Tendeck (eight among North American goaltenders) have all made the list.

The Rivermen duo of captain Brendan Budy and Angus Crookshank are ranked 138th and 139th while the Blazers’ Brodi Stuart is ranked 144th.

Tendeck is second among WHL goaltenders who are draft eligible in 2018 and he currently sits third in the league with a 2.86 goals against average and tied for seventh with a .912 save percentage.

Malm is second on the Giants with 17 goals and 48 points and he leads the league with nine game-winning goals.

Roman was leading the WHL in rookie scoring back in December with eight goals and 29 points but has only played one game since December, after first representing Slovakia at the world junior championships and then getting injured in his first game back earlier this month. He now sits seventh.

Stuart is fifth in the rookie scoring race with a dozen goals and 30 points.

Among WHL defencemen, Plouffe is 14th with eight goals and 36 points. But among all 1999-born defencemen in the league, he is second.

Kannok Leipert has a pair of goals and 17 points and is tied for the rookie lead in defencemen scoring.

Budy and Crookshank sit one-two in scoring for the Rivermen.

Budy has 15 goals and 41 points while Crookshank has 15 goals and 32 points.

The pair also helped Canada West win gold in December at the world junior A Challenge.

The 2018 NHL entry draft will be held in Dallas June 22 and 23.

gary ahuja

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