Victoria Grizzlies defenceman Nolan De Jong leads the local skaters who made the NHL’s Central Scouting Service midterm rankings of North American skaters put out this week.
De Jong is listed at 150th, which means the future Michigan Wolverine could be a late-round draft pick in the 2013 NHL entry draft. The Victoria native is headed to the University of Michigan for September.
Ranked 165th, newcomer Trent Lofthouse (Surrey) is one of two Victoria Royals to make the list. He joins Royals defenceman Keegan Kanzig (Athabasca, Alta.) who is listed at 194th. It’s a low mention for the hulking, 6-foot-5, and 230-pound 17-year-old.
Scouts are hoping to Kanzig’s skill set, namely his speed and decision making, can catch up to his NHL-ready size.
Cracking the North American goalie list is Chad Katunar at 33rd. The Victoria native stepped up big time during the Penticton Vees’ run to the RBC Cup last year and is second in BCHL wins this year with 19. His goals against average of 2.29 and save percentage of .925 are currently fourth in the league.
Katunar is committed to the University of Notre Dame for September.
The scouting service also provided a list of international skaters and goalies, which means the above players will drop in the combined rankings. However, making the list is the most crucial step. Once noticed, players will often rise or fall sharply based on their play in the coming months.
Seth Jones of the Portland Winterhawks is first on the list of North American skaters.