Saginaw Spirit forwards Max Grondin and Blade Jenkins, along with defenseman Caleb Everett all appeared on the initial NHL central scouting list of the 2017-18 season, which ranks the top 317 hockey players from around the world who are eligible for the 2018 NHL draft next summer, Jun. 22-23 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
The 317 players listed on these (the first of three) NHL central scouting rankings were designated either an 'A' rating, 'B' rating, or 'C' rating.
The top 24 players were given an 'A' rating (which indicates a possible first round selection) and the following 75 players were listed with a 'B' rating (likely second and third round candidates), while the remaining 218 players were given a 'C' rating (possible fourth, fifth, or sixth round picks).
Grondin, Jenkins, and Everett each received a 'C' rating, however, as the year progresses they'll have two more chances (the mid-term rankings in January, and the final rankings at the end of the season) to either move up, or move down on the list, depending on each players' individual development. The mid-term and final rankings are broken down into four different lists: the first, which ranks the top North American skaters, and another ranking North American goal tenders; along with a list of the top European skaters, and a list of the top European goal tenders.
After an 11-point (6-goals, 5-assists) rookie campaign, Grondin,
a 6-foot-3, 205-pound center from Hearst, ON who was selected by the Spirit in the second round of the 2016 OHL priority selection draft, is off to a great start in his second OHL season, where he's in a tie for the team lead with 3-points (1-goal, 2-assists) through 4-games this year.
, a 6-foot-2, 194-pound center from Jackson, MI was Saginaw's No. 1 pick (fourth overall) in the 2016 OHL priority selection draft, however, after committing to play NCAA hockey at the University of Michigan, he spent last season with the U.S. National Team Development Program, before making the decision to sign with the Spirit in May. Jenkins, whose hockey I.Q. is pretty high, seems to be fitting in nicely in Saginaw, centering the top line between Cole Coskey and Matthew Kreis.
, a 6-foot-2, 174-pound defenseman from Pleasant Lake, MI (near Jackson) was a sixth round pick of the Spirit in the 2016 OHL priority selection draft, spent last season helping the Compuware U16 hockey team win an HPHL championship, before ultimately winning the 2017 U.S.A. Hockey National Championship in Pittsburgh, PA last April. Everett was also drafted by the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the second round of the 2016 USHL draft and played 2 regular season games and 1 playoff game for the Lumberjack's last spring before signing with the Spirit in June.
Of the 317 players listed on the initial NHL central scouting list, 48 are from the OHL, with 6 listed as possible first round selections, which is close to last years 2017 NHL draft
at the United Center in Chicago, IL where 42 of the 217 players selected came from the OHL, accounting for 19% of the draft; so it's understandable that, dating back to 1969, a total of 2,319 OHL players have been selected in the NHL draft, making up nearly 21% of all players.
Grondin, Jenkins, and Everett will welcome the Barrie Colts to Saginaw this Saturday evening for a 7:05 pm face off at the Dow Event Center.