The top six prospects from last month's rankings are the same six players holding down those slots in this month's list. And in fact, the players are ranked exactly as they were in January, so the ISS view of the draft's top prospects seems to be more settled as the 2013-14 regular season heads towards its conclusion.
Leading the pack is Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad, his second consecutive month being ranked as the top prospect after spending the previous four months as the second-ranked prospect. Ekblad is performing at the level that was expected of him when he was granted exceptional player status in 2011, and he may well step directly into NHL duty in 2014-15.
Ekblad has switched places with Kootenary Ice center Sam Reinhart, the player that held down the top spot in the four months that Ekblad placed second. Reinhart just turned in a strong showing this past week, posting 11 points in three games and earning both WHL and CHL Player of the Week honors. So, while Ekblad seems to be solidifying his hold on #1, Reinhart is still very much in the running to have his name called first at this year's draft.
Rounding out the top five prospects in this month's rankings are Kingston Frontenacs left wing Sam Bennett, Oshawa Generals forward Michael Dal Colle, and center Willie Nylander of Sodertalje in Sweden's Allsvenskan.
The other top prospect holding the same position as he did in last month's ISS rankings is Niagara IceDogs left wing Brendan Perlini, who holds down the sixth slot for a second consecutive month.
Making his first appearance in the ISS top 10 is Windsor Spitfires right wing Josh Ho-Sang, who made an impressive jump from #19 in January to #9 this month. Another player making a big jump this month is Nikolay Goldobin of the Sarnia Sting. Goldobin turned in a strong performance at the 2014 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, which in part helped the Moscow, Russia native climb from #25 in January up to #13 this month.
Taking a noticable plunge in this month's rankings is Mora left wing Anton Karlsson, who dropped from the tenth position in January to #21 in this month's rankings.
Entering the ISS Hockey top 30 for the first time this season are left wing Nikita Scherbak of the Saskatoon Blades, who climbed from #45 last month to #24 in February, and Plymouth Whalers defenseman Alex Peters, who moved up from #48 to #26.
Boston College freshman Thatcher Demko remained the top-ranked goaltender according to ISS, with the Plymouth Whalers' Alex Nedeljkovic moving up one slot to #2, and Niagara IceDogs netminder Brent Moran rising to the third position.
Below is the ISS Hockey February ranking of the the top 30 prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft.
|4||Michael Dal Colle||C||6/20/96||L||6.01.5||179||Oshawa||OHL||4|
|8||Haydn Fleury||LD||7/8/96||L||6.02.5||207||Red Deer||WHL||8|
|11||Leon Draisaitl||C||10/27/95||R||6.01.5||204||Prince Albert||WHL||7|
|14||Alex Tuch||RW||5/10/96||R||6.03.5||213||USA Under-18||NTDP||16|
|16||Conner Bleackley||C/RW||2/7/96||R||6.00.25||192||Red Deer||WHL||14|
|17||Jared McCann||C||5/31/96||L||6.00.25||179||S.S. Marie||OHL||15|
|18||Sonny Milano||LW||5/12/96||L||5.11.5||183||USA Under-18||NTDP||17|
|23||Dylan Larkin||LW||7/30/96||L||6.00.75||190||USA Under-18||NTDP||22|
|30||Jack Dougherty||RD||5/25/96||R||6.01||186||USA Under-18||NTDP||35|