In the spirit of the holiday season, many members of the 2013 NHL Draft class have given scouts and hockey fans alike a lot to like.
But it goes without saying that Future Considerations gives Halifax Mooseheads standout Nathan MacKinnon the top spot in FC’s December ranking for the 2013 NHL Draft.
MacKinnon, who will represent Canada at the World Junior Championship, has done nothing to weaken his grip on the top spot in 2013. The six-foot, 180-pound forward has 22 goals and 52 points in 30 QMJHL games – third in league scoring. In fact, the 17-year-old hasn’t been tough to stop, he’s been near impossible to halt. In those 30 games of action, the Halifax, NS product has been held off the scoresheet just five times, including a 13 game scoring streak in October.
If MacKinnon is the gift teams are hoping to find on draft day up front, Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones is the present waiting to make an immediate presence.
Jones, who has all but punched his ticket to the World Juniors in Ufa as a member of Team USA, has further acquainted himself with the Western Hockey League. He leads all rookie defensemen in points with 28 in 31 games, including an impressive December leading up to the World Juniors that saw the Plano, TX native record nine points in six games.
Jones and MacKinnon aren’t the only top eligibles heading to Ufa, either.
Finnish sensation Aleksander Barkov, third in the ranking, and the fourth-ranked Elias Lindholm of Sweden will represent their respective nations at the World Juniors. Jonathan Drouin (6th), will join MacKinnon on Canada’s entry while the Rasmus Ristolainen (8th) will also play in the tournament. Russian Valeri Nichushkin (11th) will also earn the opportunity to play at the World Juniors on home ice.
It isn’t only draft eligibles bound for the World Juniors that have impressed.
Nikita Zadorov, who was cut from Russia’s roster Wednesday, has made big strides and into Future Considerations’ top-10. The six-foot-five, 225-pound London Knights blueliner has adapted to Ontario Hockey League life quite well, leading all rookies with plus-26 rating. The imposing defenseman has impressed considerably as he’s grown more comfortable in North America.
After making his debut in the first round at 17 in November, NTDP defenseman Keaton Thompson continues to rise to the 13th spot in December. After impressing at the World Junior A Challenge, the Devils Lake, ND product has continued to impress in United States Hockey League action.
Regina Pats forward Morgan Klimchuk, who has 17 goals and 39 points in 37 games, is also featured in the top-30 for the first time. The five-foot-11, 180-pound forward has powered his way to 27 on the strength of an 11-game pointstreak, scoring eight goals and 22 points during a stretch that crept into early December.
Rank / Pos. / Name / Team / League / Ht / Wt /
1). C/RW Nathan MacKinnon, Halifax, QMJHL, 6-0, 180
2). D Seth Jones, Portland, WHL, 6-4, 205
3). C Aleksander Barkov, Tappara, SM-liiga, 6-2, 205
4). C Elias Lindholm, Brynas, Elitserien, 6-0, 185
5). C Sean Monahan, Ottawa, OHL, 6-2, 195
6). LW/C Jonathan Drouin, Halifax, QMJHL, 5-11, 175
7). D Ryan Pulock, Brandon, WHL, 6-1, 210
8). D Rasmus Ristolainen, TPS, SM-Liiga, 6-3, 205
9). LW Hunter Shinkaruk, Medicine Hat, WHL, 5-10, 170
10). D Nikita Zadorov, London, OHL, 6-5, 225
11). LW/C Valeri Nichushkin, Traktor Chelyabinsk, KHL, 6-3, 175
12). D Darnell Nurse, Sault Ste. Marie, OHL, 6-4, 185
13). D Keaton Thompson, US NTDP U18, 6-1, 175
14). D Robert Hägg, Modo J20, SuperElit, 6-2, 200
15). C/LW Max Domi, London, OHL, 5-10, 185
16). C Curtis Lazar, Edmonton, WHL, 6-0, 185
17). LW Anthony Mantha, Val-d ‘Or, QMJHL, 6-3, 180
18). D Josh Morrissey, Prince Albert, WHL, 6-0, 185
19). LW Kerby Rychel, Windsor, OHL, 6-1, 200
20). LW André Burakovsky, Malmo, Allsvenskan, 6-1, 175
21). C Connor Hurley, Edina, USHS, 6-1, 175
22). C Frederik Gauthier, Rimouski, QMJHL, 6-5, 210
23). D Madison Bowey, Kelowna, WHL, 6-1, 195
24). RW Adam Erne, Quebec, QMJHL, 6-0, 200
25). D Steven Santini, US NTDP U18, 6-2, 205
26). LW Jason Dickinson, Guelph, OHL, 6-1, 170
27). C Morgan Klimchuk, Regina, WHL, 5-11, 180
28). C Bowie Horvat, London, OHL, 6-0, 195
29). D Shea Theodore, Seattle, WHL, 6-0, 170
30). LW Valentin Zykov, Baie-Comeau, QMJHL, 6-0, 210