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:

Rank Name Position Birthdate Shot H W Team League Mar. 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 KHL 2
3 Nathan MacKinnon C 09/01/95 R 6.00 182 Halifax QMJHL 3
4 Jonathan Drouin LW 03/27/95 L 5.10.75 185 Halifax QMJHL 4
5 Sasha Barkov C 09/02/95 L 6.02 205 Tappara FinE 6
6 Darnell Nurse D 02/04/95 L 6.03.5 189 Sault Ste. Marie OHL 5
7 Nikita Zadorov D 04/15/95 L 6.05.25 230 London OHL 7
8 Elias Lindholm C 12/02/94 R 5.11.75 181 Brynas SweE 8
9 Sean Monahan C 10/12/94 L 6.02 186 Ottawa OHL 9
10 Bo Horvat C 04/05/95 L 6.00.25 200 London OHL 24
11 Rasmus Ristolainen D 10/27/94 R 6.04 207 TPS Turku FinE 10
12 Curtis Lazar C 02/02/95 R 5.11.75 193 Edmonton WHL 11
13 Hunter Shinkaruk C 10/13/94 L 5.11 175 Medicine Hat WHL 13
14 Ryan Pulock D 10/06/94 R 6.00.5 211 Brandon WHL 12
15 Alexander Wennberg C 09/22/94 L 6.01.5 174 Djurgarden SweJE 18
16 Valentin Zykov RW 05/15/95 R 6.00 210 Baie-Comeau QMJHL 15
17 Kerby Rychel LW 10/07/94 L 6.01 200 Windsor OHL 16
18 Andre Burakowsky LW 02/09/95 L 6.01.5 176 Malmo SweAl 17
19 Josh Morrissey D 03/29/95 L 5.11.75 182 Prince Albert WHL 19
20 Frederik Gauthier C 04/26/95 L 6.05 210 Rimouski QMJHL 20
21 JT Compher C 04/08/95 R 5.10.5 184 USA Under-18 NTDP 21
22 Steve Santini D 03/07/95 R 6.01.5 207 USA Under-18 NTDP 22
23 Robert Hagg D 02/08/95 L 6.02.25 204 Modo SweJE 23
24 Jason Dickonson LW 07/04/95 L 6.01.25 179 Guelph OHL 14
25 Anthony Mantha LW 09/16/94 L 6.04 190 Val d'Or QMJHL 27
26 Max Domi C 03/02/95 L 5.09.25 193 London OHL 28
27 Madison Bowey D 04/22/95 R 6.00.75 200 Kelowna WHL 25
28 Ryan Hartman RW 09/20/94 R 5.11 187 Plymouth OHL 26
29 Nic Petan C 03/22/95 L 5.08.5 163 Portland WHL 29
30 Chris Bigras D 02/22/95 L 6.00.5 189 Owen Sound OHL 38

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.

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