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.

Rank Player Position Birth Shot H W Team League

Last Rank

CSS Rank
1 Sam Reinhart C 11/6/95 R 6.00.75 185 Kootenay WHL 2 3NA
2 Aaron Ekblad RD 2/7/96

R

6.03.5 216 Barrie OHL 1 2NA
3 Michael Dal Colle C 6/20/96 L 6.01.5 179 Oshawa OHL 4 5NA
4 Sam Bennett LW 6/20/96 L 6.00.25 178 Kingston OHL 3 1NA
5 Willie Nylander F 5/1/96 R 5.11 169 Rogle SweAl 5 2EU
6 Leon Draisaitl C 10/27/95 L 6.00.5 199 Prince Albert WHL 6 4NA
7 Brendan Perlini LW 4/27/96 L 6.02.75 205 Niagara OHL 7 8NA
8 Alex Tuch RW 5/10/96 R 6.03.5 213 USA Under-18 NTDP 9 12NA
9 Nick Ritchie LW 12/5/95 L 6.02.25 226 Peterborough OHL 12 7NA
10 Jake Virtanen LW 8/17/96 R 6.00.75 208 Calgary WHL 8 6NA
11 Nikolaj Ehlers LW 2/13/96 L 5.11 162 Halifax QMJHL 14 13NA
12 Haydn Fleury LD 7/8/96 L 6.02.5 207 Red Deer WHL 10 9NA
13 Kasperi Kapanen RW 7/23/96 L 6.00 180 Kuopio FinE 13 1EU
14 Dylan Larkin LW 7/30/96 L 6.00.75 190 USA Under-18 NTDP 16 17NA
15 Jared McCann C 5/31/96 L 6.00.25 179 S.S. Marie OHL 9 10NA
16 Robby Fabbri C 1/22/96 L 5.10.25 170 Guelph OHL 21 21NA
17 Josh Ho-Sang RW 1/22/96 R 5.11. 166 Windsor OHL 11 22NA
18 Sonny Milano LW 5/12/96 L 5.11.5 183 USA Under-18 NTDP 18 16NA
19 Ivan Barbashev C 12/14/95 L 6.00 181 Moncton QMJHL 20 18NA
20 Roland McKeown RD 1/20/96 R 6.00.75 195 Kingston OHL 17 27NA
21 Nick Schmaltz RW 2/23/96 R 5.11.5 172 Green Bay USHL 38 19NA
22 Ryan MacInnis LW 2/14/96 L 6.03.5 185 Kitchener OHL 29 20NA
23 Adrian Kempe C 9/13/96 L 6.01.5 187 Modo SweJE 26 6EU
24 Connor Bleackley C/RW 2/7/96 R 6.00.25 192 Red Deer WHL 22 35NA
25 Nikita Scherbak LW 12/30/95 L 6.01 175 Saskatoon WHL 24 15NA
26 Nikolai Goldobin RW 10/7/95 L 5.11.5 178 Sarnia OHL 19 24NA
27 Anton Karlsson LW 8/3/96 L 6.01 187 Frolunda SweJE 25 11EU
28 Kevin Fiala LW 7/22/96 L 5.10 180 HV71 SweJE 32 3NA
29 Vladislav Kamenev C 8/12/96 L 6.02 185 Magnitogorsk Stalnye Lisy RusJr 26 13EU
30 Hunter Smith RW 9/11/95 R 6.06.5 208 Oshawa OHL 84 39NA

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