Three current Spirit players appear on final NHL central scouting list

Blade Jenkins, Caleb Everett, and Damien Giroux, were all on the list, along with 2016 Spirit draft pick Bode Wilde...

Posted In: Sports, ,   By: Jason Marcoux

17th April, 2018     0

Three current Saginaw Spirit players: Blade Jenkins, Caleb Everett, and Damien Giroux; along with 2016 Spirit second round draft pick Bode Wilde, have all appeared on NHL central scouting's final list ranking the top 217-North American skaters eligible for the upcoming 2018 NHL draft on June 22-23 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX this summer.
NHL central scouting includes four list's among the final 2018 NHL draft rankings: the top 217-North American skaters, the top 130-European skaters, the top 31-North American goal tenders, and the top 14-European goal tenders, which makes up a pool of 392-hockey players hoping to hear their name called as one of the 217-total (31-picks in each of the seven rounds) draft picks in the 2018 NHL entry draft.
Jenkins, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound forward from Jackson, MI who came in at No. 26 on the final list (down two spots from No. 24 on the mid-term list) after a 44-point (20-goals, 24-assists) impressive rookie year in 68-games with the Spirit. Jenkins is expected to be a possible late first round to mid-second pick in the 2018 NHL draft.
Everett, a 6-foot-1, 181-pound defenseman also from Jackson, MI who came in at No. 84 (up two spots from No. 86 on the mid-term list) after an impressive rookie year, where he stood out among a talented group of Spirit defenders, totaling 20-points (6-goals, 14-assists) in 58-games this year. Expect Everett to be a late-third to mid-fourth round pick in the 2018 NHL draft.
Giroux, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound LW from Hanmer, ON who came in at No. 190 on the final list (down from No. 177 on the mid-term list) after totaling 43-points (19-goals, 24-assists) in 68-games as an assistant captain for the Spirit in just his second OHL season. Expect Giroux to be drafted anywhere from the fifth to the seventh round in the 2018 NHL draft. 
 Second year Spirit forward Max Grondin, a 6-foot-3, 205-pound forward from Hearst, ON was ranked No. 211 on the 2018 mid-term list back in January, but barely missed making the final list, despite having a productive 27-point (11-goals, 16-assists) season through 66-games with the Spirit this year.
Wilde, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound defenseman from Birmingham, MI who was drafted by the Spirit in the second round of the 2016 OHL priority selection draft, but chose to stay in the U.S. National Team Development Program to maintain his NCAA eligibility, came in at No. 17 (up 5 spots from No. 22 on the mid-term list) after totaling 36-points (11-goals, 25-assists) in 53-games for the USNTDP U17 team this year. 
Although Wilde is currently verbally committed to play NCAA hockey at the University of Michigan next year, he could opt to continue his development in the OHL, which is better suited to the NHL style of play. The Spirit hold Wilde's OHL draft rights, so Saginaw would be his OHL team. Former Spirit defenseman Jamie Oleksiak (Pittsburgh Penguins) made a similar decision prior to the 2011-12 OHL season, when he left Northeastern University for the OHL after being drafted 14th overall by the Dallas Stars in the 2011 NHL draft. 
There were also two players on the final list with close family ties to the Saginaw area; Graham Slaggert, a 5-foot-11 forward from South Bend, IN who is currently playing for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in the United States Hockey League, came in at No. 194 on the list. Slaggert is committed to play NCAA hockey at Notre Dame, where his father Andy Slaggert (a native of Saginaw who grew up playing in the Greater Saginaw Amateur Hockey Association) played NCAA hockey from 1986-89, before becoming an assistant coach for the Irish for the past 25 years.
Johnny Gruden, son of Hamilton Bulldogs (former Flint Firebirds) head coach John Gruden, is a 6-foot, 172-pound forward from Rochester, MI who came in at No. 46 on the final list (up 2-spots from No. 48 on the mid-term list) after totaling 34-points (15-goals, 19-assists) in 25-games for the USNTDP in the USHL this year. 
Gruden is committed to play NCAA hockey at Miami of Ohio University next year. His mother Polly (Kessel) Gruden grew up in Saginaw before marrying the elder Gruden while he was playing for the Boston Bruins in the NHL. 
The NHL draft will take place Fri-Sat June 22-23 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX in two months. 
*this article has been changed and updated from the original.


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