Scouting season is far from over with the World Under-18 Championship set to begin April 19 and playoffs in full swing across the CHL and Europe. Without giving an unfair advantage to players whose teams didn’t qualify for the playoffs, NHL Central Scouting released its final rankings for the 2018 NHL draft Monday. Here’s a look at the top risers from the CHL based on how their mid-term ranking compared to their final ranking.
No. 89, Linus Nyman, RW, Kingston Frontenacs. Moved up 113 spots: Amazing vision that played before and after the arrival of top-notch talent to the Fronts. A 1999 birthday, he will benefit from a recent trend of re-entry players being taken earlier as opposed to being a throw-away pick late in the draft. Lyman is a typical Toronto-type player whose ability to make plays at high speed overshadows his small stature. He had two two-game and one three-game stretch where he was held pointless, showing remarkable consistency start to finish.
No. 71, Wyatte Wylie, D, Everett Silvertips. Moved up 108 spots: Named the Silvertips’ Ironman and Most Improved Player, Wylie has missed just one game since coming into the league last year as a 16-year-old. He plays a tough, grinding, physical game and is just starting to show his offensive upside. A pro mentality in how he works on and off the ice, Wylie grew up playing most of his minor hockey in Everett.
No. 19, Liam Foudy, C, London Knights. Moved up 72 spots: The apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree with Foudy, whose mother is an Olympic medalist and father was an Olympian and CFL player. Two things happened to change Foudy’s season: first, the Knights moved veteran forwards and opened up a spot for Foudy to play big and more high-leverage minutes. Second, he tested well at the Sherwin Williams Top Prospects Game and realized he fit right in with the big boys. Previous to that game, he had nine goals and 14 points in 43 games, but in his final 22 games of the season, he scored 15 goals and added 11 assists for 26 points.
No. 95, Ryan Chyzowski, LW, Medicine Hat Tigers. Moved up 65 spots: Pretty good bloodlines here as well, with father Dave having been taken second overall by the New York Islanders in 1989. Ice time was tough to come by in his rookie season, but with Mason Shaw missing the entire season, Chyzowski had an opportunity and made the most of it by filling the void in the Tigers lineup. A first-round bantam pick, he has followed the trajectory of playing in the U-17’s this season, while also making the move to centre ice.
No. 83, Luke Henman, C, Blainville-Boisbriand Armada. Moved up 64 spots: Henman has benefitted greatly from playing in a system that demands hard work and attention to detail in the defensive zone. The Armada were also the second-highest scoring team in the league, allowing for players like Henman to realize the value of turning defence into offence. Henman is slight of frame, and it shows in a skating stride that will become more powerful as he gains strength. He has good stick skills with a shot that will also benefit as he gets stronger. He has really come on in the playoffs.
No. 68, Aidan Dudas, C, Owen Sound Attack. Moved up 63 spots: Took full advantage as an injury replacement at the Sherwin-Williams Top Prospects Game by scoring two goals. Dudas is a high-energy, max-effort player with some throw-back piss and vinegar to his game. He’s skilled enough to hang with the big boys as both a playmaker and a shooter. Impressive in that 50 of his 65 points came at even strength or shorthanded.
No. 116, William Ennis, D, Oshawa Generals. Moved up 57 spots: His style of play fit right into that of Generals assistant coach Nathan McIvor, who carved out a 10-year pro career as a rugged, stay-at-home defender. Ennis is almost the exact same size at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds and is much the same in terms of providing consistent defensive proficiency. It became evident early in the season that Ennis was up to the challenge of earning big minutes against the opposition’s best. He’s more noticeable when you watch him on multiple occasions as flash and dash aren’t a big part of his game.
No. 150, Robert Lynch, C, Drummondville Voltigeurs. Moved up 57 spots: Tough to imagine a player born in Michigan would end up excelling in Drummondville, but you can’t help but notice the year over year improvement here. Due to a broken femur, Lynch was limited to just 37 games in the 2016-17 season and put up just nine points. This season, Lynch averaged exactly a point per game. With his injury and the fact he’s a late-bloomer getting opportunity, you have a prospect that is in his final year of draft eligibility who is more likely to be picked than go unselected and invited to a camp.
No. 25, Ty Dellandrea, C, Flint Firebirds. Moved up 52 spots: You can guarantee two things with this player: work ethic and character, which are difficult to maintain playing for a last-place team. Once you know you have a model citizen, add his skating and shooting ability, and you have the perfect prospect. Dellandrea was the lone go-to option after Flint moved veterans Nick Caamano and Ryan Moore. Dellandrea faced the opposition’s best defence pairings and was often matched up against the opponent’s top line, which explains his minus-30 rating. Hone in on projection and you see a player that is good now, but will lay it all on the line to maximize his potential.