ISS Draft Rankings: Reinhart, Ekblad tighten hold on top slots


Sam Reinhart - Kootenay Ice

Photo: Kootenay Ice captain and 2014 prospect Sam Reinhart will likely enter the 2014 NHL Draft as the top-ranked prospect according to ISS Hockey (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

The calendar has flipped over to May, but the top 10 in the ISS Hockey ranking of the 2014 NHL Draft prospects looks an awful lot like the top of the order in April's rankings.

Leading the way once again is Kootenay Ice center Sam Reinhart. The Ice's season has ended, but not from a lack of effort on Reinhart's part. The Vancouver native scored six goals and added 17 assists for 23 points in 13 postseason games, numbers certainly befitting a top-ranked prospect.

Holding down the second position for the second consecutive month is Barrie Colts defenseman Aaron Ekblad. As was the case with Reinhart, Ekblad's season ended in the second round of the playoffs where the all-purpose defender notched two goals and four assists in nine games. The Belle River, ON native is the second-ranked North American skater by the NHL's Central Scouting Services (CSS), one place in front of Reinhart but behind Kingston Frontenacs' left wing Sam Bennett.

Sitting at third overall for the second straight month is Oshawa Generals left winger Michael Dal Colle. Dal Colle is another 2014 prospect that turned in a strong showing in the postseason, where he posted eight goals and 12 assists in 12 OHL playoff games. Dal Colle is ranked fifth among North American skaters by CSS.

As they did in April, holding down the fourth and fifth slots in the ISS rankings are Sam Bennett and MODO center William Nylander. Bennett's season ended after the Frontenacs squandered a 3-0 series lead over the Peterborough Petes on their way to dropping the series, 4-3. Despite his team's collapse, Bennett produced in the series, netting five goals and adding four assists in the seven games. Meanwhile, Nylander made the 2014 U18 World Championship his personal proving ground as he led the tournament in scoring with six goals and 10 assists in seven games.

The remainder of the ISS top 10 looks exactly the same as last month's 6-10 grouping, the exception being the inclusion of Guelph Storm center Robby Fabbri. Fabbri replaces U.S. NTDP forward Alex Tuch in the eighth slot, with Tuch falling back to #14. Fabbri is another top 10 prospect who has turned in a stellar postseason showing, as he and his Storm teammates are now preparing for a run at the Memorial Cup. The Mississauga, ON native was third in scoring in the OHL playoffs, netting 13 goals and tacking on 15 assists for 28 points in 16 games.

There was mostly minor movement up or down, or no movement at all, among the remaining 20 players in the ISS top 30. One player benefiting from a strong showing at the U18 tournament was Swiss-born forward Kevin Fiala. Fiala, who played in Sweden for HV71, was the scoring star for Switzerland at the U18, scoring four goals and chipping in five assists in five games.

Another player seeing a bump up the ranks after a good U18 showing, and also making his debut in the ISS top 30, is Calgary Hitmen defenseman Travis Sanheim. The Brandon, MB native was named one of Canada's best players after posting six assists in seven games for the bronze medalists.

Sanheim was the only new entrant in this month's ISS top 30, with the other 29 players having appeared in last month's top 30 rankings.

As he has for much of the 2013-14 season, leading the goaltender rankings is Boston College freshman Thatcher Demko. Demko was unable to lead the Eagles to a national championship, but still turned in a strong showing in his first season of NCAA hockey. The goaltenders in the second and third slots of the ISS rankings, Mason McDonald of the Charlottetown Islanders and Alex Nedeljkovic of the Plymouth Whalers, swapped places from April to May.

ISS Hockey will publish their 2014 NHL Draft Guide on May 30th, in advance of this year's draft which takes place on June 27th and 28th at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. The draft guide will include detailed information on the top 220 prospects as ranked by ISS Hockey, and can be purchased through this link – .

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


Last Rank

CSS Rank
1Sam ReinhartC11/6/95R6.00.75185KootenayWHL13NA
2Aaron EkbladRD2/7/96


3Michael Dal ColleC6/20/96L6.01.5179OshawaOHL35NA
4Sam BennettLW6/20/96L6.00.25178KingstonOHL41NA
5Willie NylanderF5/1/96R5.11169RogleSweAl52EU
6Leon DraisaitlC10/27/95L6.00.5199Prince AlbertWHL64NA
7Brendan PerliniLW4/27/96L6.02.75205NiagaraOHL78NA
8Robby FabbriC1/22/96L5.10.25170GuelphOHL1621NA
9Nick RitchieLW12/5/95L6.02.25226PeterboroughOHL97NA
10Jake VirtanenLW8/17/96R6.00.75208CalgaryWHL106NA
11Nikolaj EhlersLW2/13/96L5.11162HalifaxQMJHL1113NA
12Haydn FleuryLD7/8/96L6.02.5207Red DeerWHL129NA
13Kasperi KapanenRW7/23/96L6.00180KuopioFinE131EU
14Alex TuchRW5/10/96R6.03.5213USA Under-18NTDP812NA
15Dylan LarkinLW7/30/96L6.00.75190USA Under-18NTDP1417NA
16Sonny MilanoLW5/12/96L5.11.5183USA Under-18NTDP1816NA
17Jared McCannC5/31/96L6.00.25179S.S. MarieOHL1510NA
18Josh Ho-SangRW1/22/96R5.11175WindsorOHL1722NA
19Ivan BarbashevC12/14/95L6.00181MonctonQMJHL2018NA
20Kevin FialaLW7/22/96L5.10180HV71SweJE293EU
21Jakub VranaRW2/28/96L6.00187LinkopingSweE404EU
22Adrian KempeC9/13/96L6.01.5187ModoSweE236EU
23Roland McKeownRD1/20/96R6.00.75195KingstonOHL2027NA
24Nick SchmaltzRW2/23/96R5.11.5172Green BayUSHL2119NA
25Ryan MacInnisLW2/14/96L6.03.5185KitchenerOHL2220NA
26Connor BleackleyC/RW2/7/96R6.00.25192Red DeerWHL2435NA
27Nikita ScherbakLW12/30/95L6.01175SaskatoonWHL2515NA
28Nikolai GoldobinRW10/7/95L5.11.5178SarniaOHL2624NA
29Vladislav KamenevC8/12/96L6.02185Magnitogorsk Stalnye LisyRusJr2913EU
30Travis SanheimLD3/29/96L6.03181CalgaryWHL3953NA