ISS Draft Rankings: Ekblad, Reinhart still 1-2 in the 2014 draft rankings


Aaron Ekblad - Barrie Colts

Photo: Barrie Colts defenseman and 2014 prospect Aaron Ekblad is scoring at a point-per-game pace so far in the 2013-14 season, posting 19 goals and 24 assists in 43 games (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

ISS Hockey has released their February rankings for the 2014 NHL Draft, with the upper portion of those rankings looking very familiar.

The top six prospects from last month's rankings are the same six players holding down those slots in this month's list. And in fact, the players are ranked exactly as they were in January, so the ISS view of the draft's top prospects seems to be more settled as the 2013-14 regular season heads towards its conclusion.

Leading the pack is Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad, his second consecutive month being ranked as the top prospect after spending the previous four months as the second-ranked prospect. Ekblad is performing at the level that was expected of him when he was granted exceptional player status in 2011, and he may well step directly into NHL duty in 2014-15.

Ekblad has switched places with Kootenary Ice center Sam Reinhart, the player that held down the top spot in the four months that Ekblad placed second. Reinhart just turned in a strong showing this past week, posting 11 points in three games and earning both WHL and CHL Player of the Week honors. So, while Ekblad seems to be solidifying his hold on #1, Reinhart is still very much in the running to have his name called first at this year's draft.

Rounding out the top five prospects in this month's rankings are Kingston Frontenacs left wing Sam Bennett, Oshawa Generals forward Michael Dal Colle, and center Willie Nylander of Sodertalje in Sweden's Allsvenskan.

The other top prospect holding the same position as he did in last month's ISS rankings is Niagara IceDogs left wing Brendan Perlini, who holds down the sixth slot for a second consecutive month.

Making his first appearance in the ISS top 10 is Windsor Spitfires right wing Josh Ho-Sang, who made an impressive jump from #19 in January to #9 this month. Another player making a big jump this month is Nikolay Goldobin of the Sarnia Sting. Goldobin turned in a strong performance at the 2014 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, which in part helped the Moscow, Russia native climb from #25 in January up to #13 this month.

Taking a noticable plunge in this month's rankings is Mora left wing Anton Karlsson, who dropped from the tenth position in January to #21 in this month's rankings.

Entering the ISS Hockey top 30 for the first time this season are left wing Nikita Scherbak of the Saskatoon Blades, who climbed from #45 last month to #24 in February, and Plymouth Whalers defenseman Alex Peters, who moved up from #48 to #26.

Boston College freshman Thatcher Demko remained the top-ranked goaltender according to ISS, with the Plymouth Whalers' Alex Nedeljkovic moving up one slot to #2, and Niagara IceDogs netminder Brent Moran rising to the third position.

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


Last Rank

1Aaron EkbladD2/7/96R6.03.5216BarrieOHL1
2Sam ReinhartC11/6/95


3Sam BennettLW6/20/96L6.00.25178KingstonOHL3
4Michael Dal ColleC6/20/96L6.01.5179OshawaOHL4
5Willie NylanderF5/1/96R5.11169RogleSweAl5
6Brendan PerliniLW4/27/96L6.02.5205NiagaraOHL6
7Jake VirtanenLW8/17/96R6.00.75208CalgaryWHL9
8Haydn FleuryLD7/8/96L6.02.5207Red DeerWHL8
9Josh Ho-SangRW1/22/96R5.11175WindsorOHL19
10Nick RitchieLW12/5/95L6.02.25218PeterboroughOHL13
11Leon DraisaitlC10/27/95R6.01.5204Prince AlbertWHL7
12Kasperi KapanenRW7/23/96L6.00180KuopioFinE12
13Nikolay GoldobinRW10/7/95L5.11.75178SarniaOHL25
14Alex TuchRW5/10/96R6.03.5213USA Under-18NTDP16
15Roland McKeownD1/20/96R6.00.75195KingstonOHL11
16Conner BleackleyC/RW2/7/96R6.00.25192Red DeerWHL14
17Jared McCannC5/31/96L6.00.25179S.S. MarieOHL15
18Sonny MilanoLW5/12/96L5.11.5183USA Under-18NTDP17
19Ivan BarbashevC12/14/95L6.00180MonctonQMJHL18
20Nikolaj EhlersLW2/13/96L5.11.5162HalifaxQMJHL25
21Anton KarlssonLW8/3/96L6.01187MoraSweAl10
22Adrian KempeC9/13/96L6.01.5187ModoSweE21
23Dylan LarkinLW7/30/96L6.00.75190USA Under-18NTDP22
24Nikita ScherbakLW12/30/95L6.01175SaskatoonWHL45
25Anthony DeangeloRD10/24/95R5.10.5175SarniaOHL23
26Alex PetersD7/2/96L6.03.25207PlymouthOHL48
27Robby FabbriC1/22/96L5.10166GuelphOHL24
28Oskar LindblomRW8/15/96L6.01.25191BrynasSweJE26
29David PastrnakLW5/25/96R6.00167SodertaljeSweAl31
30Jack DoughertyRD5/25/96R6.01186USA Under-18NTDP35