2013 ISS Draft Rankings: Little change in Top 30, with Jones, Nichushkin still the top prospects


Seth Jones - Portland Winterhawks

Photo: Portland Winterhawks defenseman and 2013 draft prospect Seth Jones holds a now familiar place at the top of ISS Hockey's ranking of this year's prospects for the NHL Draft (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

The U-18 World Junior Championship is set to begin in just a few short days, an event that could bring the last major shake-up in the rankings of the 2013 NHL Draft prospects. So it is no surprise that the pre-WJC release of ISS Hockey's ranking of the top 30 NHL Draft prospects sports few surprises, and instead reflects pretty much the status quo from the March rankings.

For the fourth consecutive month, Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones is ranked as the top prospect for this year's draft. Jones and his Winterhawks teammates have advanced to the WHL's Western Conference Final after a sweep of the Spokane Chiefs. Jones has been productive in the WHL playoffs, posting two goals and six assists while sporting a +8 rating through 10 playoff games.

Sitting second is Russian prospect Valeri Nichushkin from Traktor Chelyabinsk of the KHL. Nichushkin's totals from the regular season were modest, given that he received only limited ice time. But the big forward has displayed some of his offensive prowess in the post-season, scoring six goals and adding two assists in 19 KHL playoff games.

As was the case in March, holding down the third and fourth slots in the April ISS rankings is the Halifax Mooseheads' forward duo of Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin. As is the case with Jones and Nichushkin, the two Mooseheads scoring stars are in the midst of an extended run through the playoffs. The Mooseheads have easily dispatched their first two opponents in the QMJHL playoffs, with MacKinnon and Drouin both posting 15 points in eight playoff games

There is a slight change among this month's top five, with last month's sixth-ranked player, Aleksander Barkov, changing places with last month's fifth-ranked prospect, Soo Greyhounds defenseman Darnell Nurse. Barkov was an offensive force during the regular season for Tappara in Finland's top league, but had his post-season ended due to an upper-body injury.

The greatest riser from March to April in the ISS top 30 was unquestionably London Knights forward,  Bo Horvat. Horvat and the Knights have advanced to the OHL's Western Conference Championship after rolling through the first two rounds of the playoffs. While Horvat's offensive totals in the post-season have been modest, ISS cites his all-around ability and leadership qualities as the main reasons for his jump from #24 to the 10th position in this month's rankings.

Below is ISS Hockey's April ranking of the top 30 2013 NHL Draft prospects:

RankNamePositionBirthdateShotHWTeamLeagueMar. Rank
1Seth JonesD10/03/94R6.03.5208PortlandWHL1
2Valeri NichushkinC03/04/95L6.04196ChelyabinskKHL2
3Nathan MacKinnonC09/01/95R6.00182HalifaxQMJHL3
4Jonathan DrouinLW03/27/95L5.10.75185HalifaxQMJHL4
5Sasha BarkovC09/02/95L6.02205TapparaFinE6
6Darnell NurseD02/04/95L6.03.5189Sault Ste. MarieOHL5
7Nikita ZadorovD04/15/95L6.05.25230LondonOHL7
8Elias LindholmC12/02/94R5.11.75181BrynasSweE8
9Sean MonahanC10/12/94L6.02186OttawaOHL9
10Bo HorvatC04/05/95L6.00.25200LondonOHL24
11Rasmus RistolainenD10/27/94R6.04207TPS TurkuFinE10
12Curtis LazarC02/02/95R5.11.75193EdmontonWHL11
13Hunter ShinkarukC10/13/94L5.11175Medicine HatWHL13
14Ryan PulockD10/06/94R6.00.5211BrandonWHL12
15Alexander WennbergC09/22/94L6.01.5174DjurgardenSweJE18
16Valentin ZykovRW05/15/95R6.00210Baie-ComeauQMJHL15
17Kerby RychelLW10/07/94L6.01200WindsorOHL16
18Andre BurakowskyLW02/09/95L6.01.5176MalmoSweAl17
19Josh MorrisseyD03/29/95L5.11.75182Prince AlbertWHL19
20Frederik GauthierC04/26/95L6.05210RimouskiQMJHL20
21JT CompherC04/08/95R5.10.5184USA Under-18NTDP21
22Steve SantiniD03/07/95R6.01.5207USA Under-18NTDP22
23Robert HaggD02/08/95L6.02.25204ModoSweJE23
24Jason DickonsonLW07/04/95L6.01.25179GuelphOHL14
25Anthony ManthaLW09/16/94L6.04190Val d'OrQMJHL27
26Max DomiC03/02/95L5.09.25193LondonOHL28
27Madison BoweyD04/22/95R6.00.75200KelownaWHL25
28Ryan HartmanRW09/20/94R5.11187PlymouthOHL26
29Nic PetanC03/22/95L5.08.5163PortlandWHL29
30Chris BigrasD02/22/95L6.00.5189Owen SoundOHL38


As of this writing, only the top two goaltenders as ranked by ISS were available, and there was no change in the two positions from last month. Halifax Mooseheads goalie Zach Fucale maintains his ranking as the top netminder available for this draft. Moving up to the second slot is Edmonton Oil Kings goaltender Tristan Jarry.

Follow ISS Hockey on Twitter via @ISShockey. You can pre-order your copy of the ISS NHL Draft Guide by visiting this link.