2013 ISS Draft Rankings: Jones, Nichushkin hold top two positions

By ISS

Seth Jones - Portland Winterhawks

Photo: Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones has been nearly a point-per-game player this season for the CHL's top-ranked team (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

The February edition of International Scouting Service's ranking of the top 30 prospects for the 2013 NHL Draft shows some re-arrangement at the top of the rankings but slightly less volatility among the prospects outside the top 10.

For the second consecutive month, Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones holds the top position in the ISS rankings. Jones has improved each month he has played in the WHL, and his performance at the 2013 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game only helped solidify his position as both the top defensive and draft prospect to this point in the 2012-13 season.

The shake-up in the top 10 of the ISS rankings begins with the second-ranked prospect. Last month, this position was held by Halifax Mooseheads forward Nathan MacKinnon, who was dislodged from the top ranking by Jones. This month, MacKinnon is pushed down one more position, this time by Russian forward Valeri Nichushkin. Nichushkin has made his move based on a solid showing at the 2013 WJC, to go along with an even stronger performance at the U-18 Five Nations Tournament that took place in Jonkoping, Sweden earlier this month.

Due to Nichushkin's rise in the rankings, MacKinnon's teammate in Haifax, Jonathan Drouin, dropped a position from January to February. This had more to do with Nichushkin's strong showing as opposed to any real drop-off in Drouin's play. Both Drouin and MacKinnon showed flashes of their ability at the Top Prospects Game, but neither player (nor did any player on Team Cherry) made the score sheet.

The top 5 of the ISS rankings is rounded out by Soo Greyhounds defenseman, Darnell Nurse. Nurse jumped up from the tenth position in last month's ranking based at least in part on a strong showing at the Top Prospects Game.

Among the remaining prospects ranked in top 30, one notable riser is Windsor Spitfires forward Kerby Rychel. Rychel jumped from the 27th position in January to the 19th spot in the February rankings. The son of former NHL forward Warren Rychel has been on fire offensively of late, which is no doubt a main reason for his rise.

The main faller among those prospects ranked in the top 30 is Swedish defender Robert Hagg. Hagg was ranked 12th in the January rankings after a good showing at the 2013 World Juniors. But Hagg fell to the 22nd position in February due to a forgettable showing at the Five Nations Tournament.

There wasn't a great deal of change with the goaltender rankings from January to February. The main change of note was the rise of Waterloo Black Hawks netminder Eamon MacAdam to the fifth position in the February rankings after not being ranked among the top 10 goaltending prospects in January. MacAdam's good showing at the 2013 USHL Top Prospects Game helped his cause, but he has been solid over the course of the 2012-13 season.

Below is the ISS ranking of the top 30 skaters for the 2013 NHL Draft.

Rank Name Position BD Shot H W Team League Jan. Rank
1 Seth Jones D 10/03/94 R 6.03.5 208 Portland WHL 1
2 Valeri Nichushkin C 03/04/95 L 6.04 196 Chelyabinsk RusS 7
3 Nathan MacKinnon C 09/01/95 R 6.00 182 Halifax QMJHL 2
4 Jonathan Drouin LW 03/27/95 L 5.10.75 185 Halifax QMJHL 3
5 Darnell Nurse D 02/04/95 L 6.03.5 189 Sault Ste. Marie OHL 10
6 Nikita Zadorov D 04/15/95 L 6.05.25 230 London OHL 9
7 Aleksander Barkov F 09/02/95 L 6.02 205 Tappara FinE 4
8 Sean Monahan C 10/12/94 L 6.02 186 Ottawa OHL 5
9 Elias Lindholm C 12/02/94 R 5.11.75 181 Brynas SweE 6
10 Rasmus Ristolainen D 10/27/94 R 6.04 207 TPS Turku FinE 8
11 Curtis Lazar C 02/02/95 R 5.11.75 193 Edmonton WHL 11
12 Ryan Pulock D 10/06/94 R 6.00.5 211 Brandon WHL 17
13 Hunter Shinkaruk C 10/13/94 L 5.11 175 Medicine Hat WHL 14
14 Jason Dickinson LW 07/04/95 L 6.01.25 179 Guelph OHL 13
15 Valentin Zykov RW 05/15/95 R 6.00 210 Baie-Comeau QMJHL 16
16 Andre Burakowsky LW 02/09/95 L 6.01.5 176 Malmo SweAl 18
17 Josh Morrissey D 03/29/95 L 5.11.75 182 Prince Albert WHL 20
18 Alexander Wennberg C 09/22/94 L 6.01.5 174 Djurgarden SweJE 21
19 Kerby Rychel LW 10/07/94 L 6.01 200 Windsor OHL 27
20 Steve Santini D 03/07/95 R 6.01.5 207 USA Under-18 NTDP 23
21 Frederik Gauthier C 04/26/95 L 6.05 210 Rimouski QMJHL 19
22 Robert Hagg D 02/08/95 L 6.02.25 204 Modo SweJE 12
23 Bo Horvat C 04/05/95 L 6.00.25 200 London OHL 22
24 Madison Bowey D 04/22/95 R 6.00.75 200 Kelowna WHL 32
25 JT Compher C 04/08/95 R 5.10.5 184 USA Under-18 NTDP 26
26 Adam Erne F 04/20/95 L 6.01 195 Quebec QMJHL 15
27 Artturi Lehkonen LW 07/04/95 L 5.11 159 Kuopio FinE 24
28 Max Domi C 03/02/95 L 5.09.25 193 London OHL 28
29 Nic Petan C 03/22/95 L 5.08.5 163 Portland WHL 39
30 Keaton Thompson D 09/14/95 L 6.00.25 187 USA Under-18 NTDP 29

 

The top five goaltenders for February as ranked by ISS are the following:

Rank Name Rnd. BD S/C H W Team League Jan. Rank
1 Zachary Fucale 1st 05/28/95 L 6.01.25 181 Halifax QMJHL 1
2 Martin Spencer 2nd 06/08/95 L 6.02.25 192 Mississauga OHL 2
3 Eric Comrie 2nd 07/06/95 L 6.00.75 167 Tri-City WHL 4
4 Tristan Jarry 2nd 04/29/95 L 6.01.5 178 Edmonton WHL 5
5 Eamon MacAdam 3rd 09/24/94 L 6.02 185 Waterloo USHL NR