ISS Draft Rankings: Strong playoff showing helps Reinhart regain top spot

By ISS

Michael Dal Colle - Oshawa Generals

Photo: Oshawa Generals center and 2014 prospect Michael Dal Colle turned in a strong 2013-14 regular season, but is playing at an even higher level in the 2014 OHL playoffs (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

On the eve of the NHL Draft Lottery, ISS Hockey has released their April ranking of the top 30 prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft. And, as a result of some strong playoff performances by a pair of players, there has been some re-shuffling at the top of the order since the March edition of this list.

Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart has moved back into the top slot, a position he had held until the January ISS rankings when he swapped places with Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad. Reinhart is the leading scorer in the 2014 WHL playoffs with the Ice looking to advance to the Eastern Conference Championship round. Ekblad moves back to the second position, in front of Oshawa Generals center Michael Dal Colle. Dal Colle has averaged two points per game during the 2014 OHL playoffs as the Generals move on to the Eastern Conference Championship series against the North Bay Battalion. Dal Colle was ranked third through much of the early portion of the season before sliding to the fourth slot in January.

Kingston Frontenacs left winger Sam Bennett replaces Dal Colle in the fourth slot in the ISS April rankings after having spent the past couple of months among the top three prospects. MODO center William Nylander maintains his fifth-place ranking, a position that he has held in these rankings for most of the 2013-14 season.

The remainder of the top 10 features four names that appeared in those positions last month, plus another player that previously had a foothold among this draft's top players. Prince Albert Raiders center Leon Draisaitl and Niagara IceDogs left wing Brendan Perlini hold the sixth and seventh slots, respectively, the same ranks they held in the March list. U.S. National Team Development Program right wing Alex Tuch continued his climb up the charts, moving from ninth to eighth in the April rankings. Peterborough Petes left wing Nick Ritchie re-entered the top 10 in the ninth slot after having last made an appearance in the top 10 in the February rankings. Calgary Hitmen left winger Jake Virtanen rounds out the upper third of the rankings, falling to tenth from his eighth ranking in March.

There was some minor upward or downward movement in the remaining 20 positions of the first round compared to last month. One significant upwardly mobile player is Hailfax Mooseheads left wing Nikolaj Ehlers, who has been climbing steadily up the ranks since the season began. Ehlers now sits in the 11th slot of the ISS rankings and could well break through to the top 10 should Halifax make a return to the Memorial Cup Tournament.

Kitchener Rangers left wing Ryan MacInnis is another climber in this month's top 30, having moved from the 29th position in March to the 22nd slot this month. Guelph Storm center Robby Fabbri also made a significant move from last month to this month, going from 21st to 16th in the April rankings.

Two new names in the top 30 are 28th-ranked Kevin Fiala, a Swiss player currently playing for HV71 in the Swedish junior league, and Hunter Smith, a nearly 6'7” right wing who plays for the Oshawa Generals. Fiala made a small move up from the 32nd slot, while Smith rocketed up the ranks from his March ranking of 84th to 30th in the current month's rankings. Smith is particularly interesting in that he was passed over in the 2013 NHL Draft after producing just one assist in 30 OHL games in 2012-13, but has put himself on the radar after a solid showing during the 2013-14 regular season, and an even better performance so far in the 2014 OHL playoffs.

ISS continues to rank Boston College goaltender Thatcher Demko as the top goaltending prospect for the 2014 draft. Demko is once again followed by Plymouth Whalers netminder Alex Nedeljkovic, with Charlottetown Islanders goalie Mason McDonald moving into the third slot after having been ranked 11th among goaltenders by ISS in March.

Below is the ISS Hockey April ranking of the top 30 prospects for the 2014 NHL Draft.

RankPlayerPositionBirthShotHWTeamLeague

Last Rank

CSS Rank
1Sam ReinhartC11/6/95R6.00.75185KootenayWHL23NA
2Aaron EkbladRD2/7/96

R

6.03.5216BarrieOHL12NA
3Michael Dal ColleC6/20/96L6.01.5179OshawaOHL45NA
4Sam BennettLW6/20/96L6.00.25178KingstonOHL31NA
5Willie NylanderF5/1/96R5.11169RogleSweAl52EU
6Leon DraisaitlC10/27/95L6.00.5199Prince AlbertWHL64NA
7Brendan PerliniLW4/27/96L6.02.75205NiagaraOHL78NA
8Alex TuchRW5/10/96R6.03.5213USA Under-18NTDP912NA
9Nick RitchieLW12/5/95L6.02.25226PeterboroughOHL127NA
10Jake VirtanenLW8/17/96R6.00.75208CalgaryWHL86NA
11Nikolaj EhlersLW2/13/96L5.11162HalifaxQMJHL1413NA
12Haydn FleuryLD7/8/96L6.02.5207Red DeerWHL109NA
13Kasperi KapanenRW7/23/96L6.00180KuopioFinE131EU
14Dylan LarkinLW7/30/96L6.00.75190USA Under-18NTDP1617NA
15Jared McCannC5/31/96L6.00.25179S.S. MarieOHL910NA
16Robby FabbriC1/22/96L5.10.25170GuelphOHL2121NA
17Josh Ho-SangRW1/22/96R5.11.166WindsorOHL1122NA
18Sonny MilanoLW5/12/96L5.11.5183USA Under-18NTDP1816NA
19Ivan BarbashevC12/14/95L6.00181MonctonQMJHL2018NA
20Roland McKeownRD1/20/96R6.00.75195KingstonOHL1727NA
21Nick SchmaltzRW2/23/96R5.11.5172Green BayUSHL3819NA
22Ryan MacInnisLW2/14/96L6.03.5185KitchenerOHL2920NA
23Adrian KempeC9/13/96L6.01.5187ModoSweJE266EU
24Connor BleackleyC/RW2/7/96R6.00.25192Red DeerWHL2235NA
25Nikita ScherbakLW12/30/95L6.01175SaskatoonWHL2415NA
26Nikolai GoldobinRW10/7/95L5.11.5178SarniaOHL1924NA
27Anton KarlssonLW8/3/96L6.01187FrolundaSweJE2511EU
28Kevin FialaLW7/22/96L5.10180HV71SweJE323NA
29Vladislav KamenevC8/12/96L6.02185Magnitogorsk Stalnye LisyRusJr2613EU
30Hunter SmithRW9/11/95R6.06.5208OshawaOHL8439NA

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